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Workplace Sexual Harassment in Utah
workplace sexual harassment

Workplace Sexual Harassment in Utah

Put simply: Utah law prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace.

If you’ve been the victim of sexual harassment in its various forms, Shimoda & Rodriguez Law, PC helps workers throughout Utah put an end to harassing behavior and recover compensation for damages.

Utah Sexual Harassment Laws

The Utah Antidiscrimination Act prohibits employment discrimination, which includes sexual harassment. The state’s Labor Commission defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

In Utah, 25 percent of women who were asked if they’d been sexually harassed said yes, according to Utah State University.

But sexual harassment isn’t limited to inappropriate behavior between a male employee and a female employee. Men can also be victims of offensive conduct.

Sexual harassment includes:

  • Unwanted Touching/Physical Harassment
  • Physical Threats
  • Sexual Assault
  • Sexual Visuals
  • Leud Gestures
  • Leud Jokes & Slurs
  • Unwelcome Questions About Gender Identity & Sexual Preference
  • Written/Verbal Sexual Solicitations

Federal Sexual Harassment Laws

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal for employers to allow anyone to be sexually harassed at work by anyone else, regardless of sex, gender, or sexual orientation.

Under federal law, a company must have 15 or more employees to be subject to federal employment law banning sexual harassment.

If you work for a chain and there are only 10 employees that work there, as long as there are more than 15 employees across all company locations, you will satisfy the 15 or more requirements.

For unwelcome sexual advances to be considered sexual harassment, it has to be “sufficiently severe or pervasive,” meaning if a coworker or supervisor groped you without your permission, it’s sexual harassment, according to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

We Can Help Prevent Retaliation for Filing A Sexual Harassment Claim

Due to misunderstanding and underreporting, between 85-95 percent of women who experience sexual harassment in Utah do not file a formal legal complaint, according to Utah State University.

Additionally, seven out of 10 women do not even report the incidents within their own organizations, and 75 percent of those who report workplace harassment experience workplace retaliation, though it is illegal.

If you work for a chain and there are only 10 employees that work there, as long as there are more than 15 employees across all company locations, you will satisfy the 15 or more requirements.

When you work with Shimoda & Rodriguez, PC, we help ensure that you do not experience negative consequences for coming forward to put an end to the harassment.

How We Approach Sexual Harassment Cases

  • Initial Consultation: Our experienced sexual harassment lawyers will speak with you and gather the specifics about your case.
  • Review & Plan: Once we have the specifics of your case, our team can begin building a legal strategy to achieve your best outcome. If your sexual harassment case included sexual demands, those details are protected by our attorney-client relationship.
  • Representation & Resolution: While our goal is to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit through mediation, there are times when the case goes to court. Should this happen, our attorneys will aggressively represent you and pursue an outcome in your best interest.

Frequently Asked Questions About Workplace Sexual Harassment

What Are Important Sexual Harassment Filing Deadlines?

The EEOC and Utah Labor Commission require an individual to file a complaint within 180 days of the last incident of harassment.

What Is Workplace Harassment?

According to Utah Administrative Code 477-15-1, workplace harassment includes conduct that is:

  • Unwelcome
  • Pervasive
  • Demeaning
  • Ridiculing
  • Derisive
  • Coercive
  • Results in hostile, offensive, or intimidating work environment

An employer may discipline an employee for violating workplace policies even if the conduct occurs out of scheduled work time or work location or is not sufficiently severe to constitute a violation of the law.

How Do I Report Sexual Harassment

If your incident or incidents of sexual harassment meet the EEOC’s definition for sexual harassment, you should first file a complaint with your employer’s human resources department. Your employer is obligated to stop sexual harassment and any form of workplace harassment to prevent a hostile working environment.

If possible, review your employee handbook to determine who you should notify about the sexual conduct or sexual comments.

According to the Utah Labor Commission, employees who feel they are being subjected to workplace sexual harassment, retaliation, or both should:

  • Document the occurrences
  • Continue to report to work
  • Identify witness(es), if applicable

Make sure your complaint is in writing for the company’s records. Written documentation will also help your sexual harassment lawsuit.

Your employer should conduct an immediate investigation into your complaint and is supposed to take appropriate action to resolve any prohibited behavior.

If your employer does not take action to improve your workplace environment or you face retaliation, such as an adverse employment decision, because of your complaint, contact Shimoda & Rodriguez Law, PC.

You can also file a claim with the Utah Labor Commission. The EEOC and Labor Commission have a work-sharing agreement, which means they will work in tandem to process your claim.

How Likely Is It That My Sexual Harassment Claim Will Be Successful In Court?

It is important to remember that up to 95 percent of victims do not file a formal legal complaint or lawsuit. This alone makes it hard to determine how likely a claim will be successful with so many individuals not seeking a fair resolution.

In the last 18 years of employment law practice, Shimoda & Rodriguez Law, PC has recovered more than $45 million for our clients. When you contact us for an initial consultation, we can help you, too.

Schedule Your Initial Consultation with Our Workplace Sexual Harassment Lawyers

If you believe you’ve been the victim of workplace sexual harassment, contact our office for a free evaluation of the strength of your case. We provide phone consultations. To speak with an attorney, call us at (833) 201-0213 or send our firm an email. We will promptly return all emails with a phone call.

Our office is located at 1414 E. Murray Holladay Road, Holladay, UT 84117