Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment Attorney in Las Vegas Fighting For Justice

Sexual harassment cases in Nevada demand strong legal action. If someone at work harassed you in a sexual way or because of your gender, that person needs to be held responsible for his or her actions. The same goes for companies that tolerate such discrimination. At Paul Padda Law, our experienced Las Vegas sexual harassment lawyers can work with you and take fast and decisive legal action. As former federal prosecutors, we are well-versed with state and federal employment laws governing sexual harassment. We know how to get the results clients need.

More information about sexual harassment can be found below, along with answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about sexual harassment.

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination that is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a federal law that exists to protect employees. Sexual harassment is demoralizing and demeaning. At Paul Padda Law, we are fiercely committed to assisting victims of sexual harassment achieve dignity in the workplace through forceful and aggressive representation. If you believe you are the victim of sexual harassment, contact our law firm immediately to discuss remedies and options. No one deserves to be treated as a sexual object or made to feel demeaned in the workplace based upon sexual reasons. Sadly, speaking out far too often carries with it adverse repercussions. For this reason you need representation in your corner that will ensure your employer understands the gravity of the situation and that adverse action against you will mean adverse consequences for them.

Sexual Harassment Statistics

According to the results of a poll conducted by Louis Harris and Associates:

  • 31% of female workers reported they had been sexually harassed at work;
  • 7% of male workers reported they had been sexually harassed at work;
  • 62% of targets took no action presumably out of fear of retaliation;
  • 100% of women reported the harasser was a man;
  • 59% of men reported the harasser was a woman;

Of the women that had been harassed:

  • 43% were harassed by a supervisor;
  • 27% were harassed by an employee senior to them;
  • 19% were harassed by a coworker at their level;
  • 8% were harassed by a junior employee.

The fields with the highest levels of reported sexual harassment are:

  • Food and service hospitality;
  • Retail;
  • Arts and entertainment;
  • Legal;

What Qualifies As Sexual Harassment?

Generally, sexual harassment is unwanted and unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that interferes with a persons life and ability to function at work, home or school. Sexual advances, forced sexual activity, statements about sexual orientation or sexuality, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature (including jokes and off-handed comments) all constitute sexual harassment.

The behavior can be either direct or implied and can occur in a number of different ways such as the following:

  • The victim as well as the harasser can be either male or female. In fact, in recent years the number of sexual harassment claims filed by men has tripled. The harasser does not need to be of the opposite sex.
  • The harassers behavior must be unwelcome.
  • The harasser can be anyone; a supervisor, a client, a co-worker, a teacher/professor, a schoolmate, a stranger, even a family member.
  • The victim does not have to be the person directly harassed but can be anyone who finds the behavior offensive and is affected by it. For example, sexual harassment directed at a female employee can affect another female worker where it can be shown that the work atmosphere is permeated with sexual innuendo.
  • The harasser does not have to have sexual intentions towards the target for the behavior to be considered discriminatory.

A Serious Problem

While society often views sexual harassment as a moral and legal issue, it is equally a business problem. With women accounting for a significant percentage of the American workforce, sexual harassment can sap the morale and productivity of the best and brightest workers and bring unwanted liability and embarrassment to corporate boardrooms. Smart businesses understand this and have a zero tolerance policy towards sexual harassment. Indeed, businesses that value their workforce and demand excellence from their management staff recognize that sexual harassment is like a virus that can infect and destroy an entire organization.

While men still retain most of the workplace supervisory positions, and are often the ones deciding whether or not a complaint of sexual harassment is justified, female supervisors can often turn a blind eye to an inappropriate situation thereby making it worse. In a male dominated world, many female supervisors do not want to rock the boat and therefore go along to get along thereby compounding the problem. According to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, only 5-15% of harassed women formally report problems of harassment to their employers (suggesting that the problem is much larger than society might expect). One can speculate why the numbers are so low but common sense dictates that most women are probably fearful of retaliation, ridicule, fear of not being believed, belief that nothing will happen to stop the harassment and fear of being accused by co-workers of inviting the harassment.

What Does The Law Say?

Proving sexual harassment can be complicated. For this reason, it is extremely important to have a knowledgeable attorney by your side. At Paul Padda Law, we have the knowledge, experience and legal skills to help you achieve justice if you’re the victim of workplace sexual harassment. At Paul Padda Law, our team of lawyers and legal support staff understand the unique challenges victims of sexual harassment face based upon our many years of representing clients.

Here’s what you need to know about the law governing sexual harassment claims. There are two main legal theories for proving sexual harassment: the quid pro quo theory and a “hostile work environment” theory. Here are some of the basics for proving sexual harassment under each theory:

1. Quid Pro Quo Theory: To prove sexual harassment under a quid pro theory, an employee needs to show that the sexual harasser explicitly or implicitly conditioned a job benefit, or the absence of a job detriment, upon an employee’s acceptance of sexual conduct. In practical terms, what this means is that the employee was essentially forced to submit to harassment in order to get a benefit such as a promotion or pay increase or to avoid something bad happening such as being fired. Under this legal theory, the sexual harasser must generally be a supervisor or person in a position to take “tangible employment action” that can affect the employee. An employer can be strictly liable for a supervisor’s sexual harassment. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has stated that “employers are held strictly accountable if they place in positions of authority persons who extract sexual favors from those over whom they exercise power.” Craig v. M&O Agencies, Inc., 496 F.3d 1047 (9th Cir. 2007). In other words, the fact that the employer does not know of the supervisor’s harassing conduct is irrelevant to the issue of liability.

2. Hostile Work Environment Theory: To prove sexual harassment based on a hostile work environment theory, an employee must prove (1) that he or she was subjected to verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, (2) this conduct was unwelcome, (3) the conduct was sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the victim’s employment and create an abusive working environment and (4) the working environment must be perceived from both a subjective and objective (reasonable person standard) perspective as abusive. A few off-handed and inappropriate comments or teasing in the workplace is not enough to prove sexual harassment under this theory. The harassment must beserious and pervasive. Additionally, an employee must generally notify the employer of what is occurring (unless it would be futile to do so or the employer already knows) and give the employer a reasonable opportunity to correct the situation. However, an employer may be vicariously liable if the harassment is perpetrated by a supervisor with “immediate (or successively higher) authority.” Under a hostile work environment theory, an employee does not need to lose his or her job or suffer a demotion. If the harassment creates a “hostile work environment,” that in and of itself constitutes prohibited employment discrimination.

Proving sexual harassment can be complicated. There are many defenses an employer can assert. If you’re the victim of sexual harassment, it is important to take good notes during the period of harassment in order to document what is occurring. Over time, memories fade and sometimes the mind wishes to shut out unpleasant experiences. For this reason, documenting what is occurring while it is occurring can be extremely powerful evidence for use later. If you’re the victim of sexual harassment, you don’t need to suffer in silence. Contact Paul Padda Law today and learn about your legal rights!

What Can You Do?

Sexual harassment is often less about sex and more about power. In other words, harassers engage in their conduct because it makes them feel powerful by being able to dominate and humiliate another person. Employers that turn a blind eye to harassment or that fail to take it seriously send the unfortunate message that they condone the conduct and thereby further empower the harassers. If you are the victim of sexual harassment, you do not need to feel isolated or alone.

“Thank you Mr. Padda to you and your staff for the outstanding work you did on my behalf. The settlement I received was more than what I ever thought I would get! I liked the fact that you never backed down during negotiations. You really know your stuff. You and your staff really made me feel like you were on my side. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”

-Sexual Harassment Client

At Paul Padda Law we are committed to protecting your rights and providing you with compassionate advocacy that puts your dignity first. In this day and age, nobody should be subjected to demeaning treatment in the workplace. Unfortunately, however, it occurs with far too much frequency. When that becomes the case, you need a law firm in your corner that will hit back hard and make sure you receive the protection and compensation you deserve. If you have been victimized by sexual harassment, call Paul Padda Law for a confidential consultation to assess your legal rights.

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