The workplace is a protected environment under numerous laws at the local, state and federal level. The officers of any corporation are responsible for maintaining a workplace free from sexual harassment, and this is precisely why being harassed by a CEO can be so devastating. This position confers an incredible amount of authority onto a single person, and it is an extremely serious violation when that person uses this position to sexually harass an employee of the company.
Sexual Harassment, Power Relations
The difference in the power of a CEO and an employee is extreme. The sexual harassment that comes from a person in such a high level of authority can be intimidating. Employees who are put in this position are often shocked and unable to respond according to the best legal strategies. This is why it is extremely important to contact an experienced sexual harassment lawyer right away. Creating a legal case may require you to take additional measures. This can include going through the company’s internal complaint channels, for example. If the business has more than 15 employees, you might also have to file a complaint with the appropriate federal agency.
Hostile Work Environment, Quid Pro Quo Harassment
The CEO of the company might not be directly involved in the daily operations of the business, but this person is still in a position to influence the culture. The hostile work environment is designed to intimidate the victim and interfere in the person’s ability to perform a job. These sexual advances might be either overt or subtle. Overt sexual harassment can be unwanted physical contact or verbal harassment. Subtle sexual harassment is less obvious to observers, but it can also interfere in the victim’s ability to work in a safe environment. This can include inappropriate comments that are aimed at the person, but they are often done in an indirect manner.
Quid pro quo harassment is more likely to happen at higher levels of the organization, but it could also happen to any employee. The CEO has the power to create a workplace situation that makes an employee believe that sexual favors must be performed in exchange for some kind of job benefit. This could take several forms, and one of them is the vague promise of some kind of advancement in the future. This is an extremely damaging form of sexual harassment because the employee is made to believe that this isn’t illegal. If the CEO of a company is making unwanted sexual advances towards you, contact our law firm immediately for help.
Federal, State and Local Sexual Harassment Laws
The CEO of a company is not exempt from the federal, state and local laws that make sexual harassment in the workplace illegal. The employee is protected at the federal level by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, there are some requirements that the employee must fulfill before bringing a lawsuit against the CEO in a federal court. This includes the obligation to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC. This requirement is only applicable in organizations where there are 15 employees or more.
Obtaining Legal Assistance
Sexual harassment can cause mental confusion and disorientation in some cases. You might be unaware of your rights or the legal process that may provide you with relief and even punitive damages. Our legal services are invaluable because we can guide you through the legal process to ensure that your case is as strong as possible. If you have experienced quid pro quo harassment or a hostile work environment on account of the CEO of a company, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit. Compensatory and punitive damages can help you to recover from the lost wages, stock options, healthcare plans, vacation pay and other benefits. Our legal team can help you to learn how to document the sexual harassment so that your case is as strong as possible. Contact the office of Leeds Brown Law today for a free consultation.