The Law Office of Jeremiah A. Denton III has been handling sexual harassment cases for women in the workplace for nearly 30 years. We help clients pursue settlements or remedies for—
About a decade before the notorious “Tailhook” case opened the floodgates to sexual harassment suits in the United States, Jeremiah Denton settled one of the state’s first sexual harassment cases against a CEO attempting to exploit his position of power over a vulnerable single-mom secretary.
Later, Mr. Denton successfully represented a troubled 16-year-old girl who had been sent to a private military academy, where she was exploited by the school’s Dean of Students.
Over the decades, we have represented legal secretaries, college professors, and a variety of working women in successful sexual harassment claims. Consequently, numerous sexual predators have paid dearly for their misconduct.
A primer on sexual harassment
Whether subtle or blatant, sexual harassment in any form is rooted in economic exploitation for an illicit purpose. It involves deliberate misconduct and is strictly illegal under state and federal laws. The United States Supreme Court defines sexual harassment as unwelcome words or conduct sufficiently “pervasive or severe” to alter the conditions of employment and create a hostile work environment. A fine line exists between what constitutes sexual harassment and innocent interaction between the sexes. An isolated request for a date or phone number is not harassment, even if at work, and, in some instances, vulgar comments may not be either. Stalking and unwanted touching almost always are. There is, of course, a broad gray area. Each case needs to be evaluated carefully to determine whether grounds for suit exist.
Who is liable for sexual harassment
Employers are not automatically responsible for the conduct of every employee in the workplace. But employers are automatically liable for sexual harassment by supervisors and harassment by any employee, if the employer knows about it and does not take reasonable steps to prevent it and working conditions are affected by the harassment.
The time period for filing sexual harassment claims can be very short, and it varies with the type of claim and type of employer. It is best to speak to an attorney immediately if you are facing unwelcome attention at work.
You should know…
- Attorneys’ fees are typically awarded in successful sexual harassment cases.
- A lawsuit for “retaliation” can be filed if the employer penalized the victim for bringing a harassment claim. Typical evidence of retaliation includes termination, cutting hours, poor performance evaluations, or reassigning the victim instead of the perpetrator.
- Employers are required to take action if they have been informed of unwanted sexual attention. If they do not they can be held liable.
- Sexual harassment cases can be filed in either state or federal court.
- A harassed employee can win a sexual harassment case without any evidence other than her own testimony, so long as the jury believes her.
We insist on justice
Located close to Lynnhaven Mall in Virginia Beach, our practice serves clients throughout Virginia.
Contact our office for assistance from a supportive lawyer and help stop the cycle of sexual harassment in the workplace.