Over 12,000 reports of workplace sexual harassment are reported each year according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Most of the complaints are filed by women, although men can also fall victim to sexual harassment.
While isolated incidents involving crude remarks or teasing are not typically considered to be sexual harassment, the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission deems sexual harassment to be:
- Requests for sexual favors
- Unwelcomed sexual advances
- Verbal or and sexual harassment that creates a hostile work environment
If you have been the victim of sexual harassment in South Carolina, you have rights. An experienced South Carolina sexual harassment attorney evaluate your case and determine if you may have a valid claim of sexual harassment, and how to protect your rights.
Quid Pro Quo and Sexual Harassment in South Carolina
The term ‘quid pro quo’ refers to a type of sexual harassment in which your supervisor, client, or co-worker asks for sexual favors or makes a sexual advance in return for you receiving special treatment at your place of work. Usually, the person who makes these types of advances may threaten to discipline you in some way if you refuse. To prove a claim for quid pro quo, you have to show:
- The sexual harassment took place during working hour and not in a non-working social environment.
- The person who sexually harassed you threatened or promised to take any action that is related to your job.
- The person who sexually harassed you made the threat or promise has the authority to act on their threat or promise.
Filing a Lawsuit for Sexual Harassment in South Carolina
The first step you should take if you’ve been a victim of sexual harassment at work is to report what happened to your employer. If, after you’ve published the incident doesn’t have any effect on your situation, the South Carolina Human Affairs Law may offer you other options. For these alternatives to be available, you and your South Carolina sexual harassment attorney will need to file a lawsuit and do the following things:
- File a Complaint: Your South Carolina sexual harassment attorney and you will have to file a formal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission (SCHAC) This complaint must be filed within 180 days of the sexual harassment incident to protect any rights you have to register in the South Carolina courts, or within 300 days to protect your rights in federal court.
- Participate in the Investigation: The agency you file your complaint with will open an investigation. They may review employment records, subpoena any documents, and interview any witnesses. You will need to cooperate with them in any way possible, but you should have a South Carolina sexual harassment attorney by your side while this process is going on.
- Attend A Hearing: The South Carolina Human Affairs Commission may decide to hold a hearing, and you may have to attend this hearing. The hearing will take place in front of a panel that will conclude your reported incident of sexual harassment.
- File a Lawsuit: If all your options have been exhausted, you have the right to file a lawsuit in a state or federal court. The lawsuit must be filed within 90 days from the receipt of your right to sue letter from the EEOC.
No one should have to endure sexual harassment in the workplace. If you believe you have been the victim of sexual harassment, you need the legal advice of the Greenville, South Carolina sexual harassment attorneys at the Briggs Law Firm. They will listen to your case and advise you of your rights. They will also help you take any necessary action to assist you in your South Carolina sexual harassment claim.