Atlanta Sexual Harassment Attorneys
Tough representation when Georgia employers don’t protect their employees from harassment
People deserve to be treated with respect. Respect in the workplace means that employers should never condition a worker’s job status on his or her willingness to engage in sexual acts. Respect also means that employers should never tolerate inappropriate sexual talk or actions in the workplace – no matter who is targeted.
If you are experiencing such harassment, talk to our Atlanta sexual harassment attorneys at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP. Our employment lawyers can get involved in your case from the moment you suspect you're being harassed. We can help you stop the harassment from getting out of control and put your employer on notice that the harassment must stop immediately. If the sexual harassment is affecting your ability to work and to advance in your company, we file sexual harassment claims against your employer to compensate you for your financial and emotional harm.
This was my first time having to seek legal counsel on an employment issue so I was a bit nervous about the process. I was referred to Ed Buckley by a friend I respect and trust, and one that has over 20 years of experience in law. Mr. Buckley made the process much less intimidating for me. Many thanks to Mr. Buckley and team for helping me. I'd definitely hire them again. – Google review
How can we help?
- Why should you choose our sexual harassment attorneys?
- What is workplace sexual harassment?
- When does sexual harassment violate the law?
- Can you provide examples of workplace sexual harassment?
- What can I do if I'm being sexually harassed in Georgia?
- What damages can sexual harassment victims claim?
- Do you have a sexual harassment attorney near me?
Why should you choose our sexual harassment attorneys?
Sexual harassment in any form can be demoralizing. It takes a toll – not only on your work, but on your mental and physical health. Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP understands how sexual harassment can affect every part of your working and personal life, and we can help you hold your employer, and in some cases, the individual harasser, liable for the loss you sustain. We understand what evidence you need to support your claim, and how to present it to a judge or jury. Our Atlanta sexual harassment attorneys work tirelessly to help you recover emotionally and to calculate the true cost of the harms done to you.
If we can get involved early enough, we may be able to put a stop to the harassment without litigation and keep you in your job. If the case cannot be settled, we are prepared to go to file suit and fight for your rights. We have taken on and beaten some of the country's largest corporations in sexual harassment cases, obtaining millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients.
Sexual harassment is probably the most well-known form of sex discrimination. Sex discrimination includes discrimination based on sex, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation. Our work helped enshrine protections for LGBTQ+ individuals under federal law. We can help you, too.
What is workplace sexual harassment?
The U.S. Congress passed Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a federal law that prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of "race, color, religion, sex, or national origin." The courts have interpreted this to cover not just discrimination, but also harassment.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines sexual harassment as follows: “It is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person's sex. Harassment can include "sexual harassment" or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.”
Sexual harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature. Offensive remarks about a person’s sex may qualify as sexual harassment. The victim can be any sex or gender. The harasser can be any sex or gender.
In cases of sexual harassment based on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the employer must have 15 or more employees for the harassed employee to be eligible to file a sexual harassment claim.
Per the EEOC, in order to rise to the level of sexual harassment, the actions, statements, and/or behaviors must be “so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment” or they must result “in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).”
What this means is that one off-color “joke” or touch on the shoulder will not necessarily be deemed an act of sexual harassment. Neither will consensual flirting between two co-workers. Per the EEOC, “Harassment becomes unlawful where:
- enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment, or
- the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.”
Some of the factors that determine if the harassment is severe or pervasive include the frequency of the conduct, the severity of the conduct, whether physical threats or humiliation are involved, whether the conduct unreasonably interferes with your job, the effect on your psychological well-being, and whether the harasser was your superior.
However, you do not need to show this so-called pattern of behavior for an act of sexual assault or abuse.
According to EEOC guidelines, quid pro quo harassment occurs “where employment opportunities or benefits are granted because of an individual's submission to the employer's sexual advances or requests for sexual favors, the employer may be held liable for unlawful sex discrimination against other persons who were qualified for but were denied that employment opportunity or benefit.”
A hostile work environment is actually one of the hardest claims to prove in all of employment law.
The US Department of Labor states that “A hostile environment can result from the unwelcome conduct of supervisors, co-workers, customers, contractors, or anyone else with whom the victim interacts on the job, and the unwelcome conduct renders the workplace atmosphere intimidating, hostile, or offensive.” For a hostile work environment to exist, the workplace must be permeated with discrimination that is sufficiently “severe” or “pervasive” to alter the terms and conditions of employment.
Examples of conduct that may be considered as creating an unlawful hostile environment include verbal and nonverbal insults, comments, or other “unwelcome behavior, that may be intentionally or unintentionally offensive, demanding or degrading” based on a protected characteristic like sex, race, or national origin.
When does sexual harassment violate the law?
Sexual harassment is illegal in the workplace, no matter who you are. All employees have the right under federal law to work in a safe environment.
The US Department of Labor points out, however, that different workplaces may be evaluated for sexual harassment differently. Employers should not “tolerate a hostile environment merely because one sex dominates a department or job function. An employee is entitled to an environment free of lewd, inappropriate behavior, such as sexually derogatory jokes and obscene materials, especially in public areas.”
Our Atlanta employment lawyers understand what acts constitute sexual harassment. We also understand what evidence is needed to support your claim of sexual harassment in the workplace. Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP can also file a retaliation claim if an employer fires or adversely affects the employment status of an employee who files a sexual harassment claim – or any person who supports a victim’s sexual harassment claim as a witness.
Can you provide examples of workplace sexual harassment?
In our experience working with employees in Georgia, the following are common examples of workplace harassment:
- Displaying sexually suggestive or explicit objects, images, pictures, or drawings
- Requesting sexual favors or a sexual relationship as an expressed or implied condition of continued employment
- Sending unwelcome texts, emails and other communications of a sexual nature
- Unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors or dates
- Unwelcome physical touching
- Spreading sexual rumors about an employee
- Making inappropriate jokes or comments related to the sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity of an employee or employees
We file sexual harassment claims based on conduct that occurs at any place of work covered by the applicable law. Sexual harassment can even occur after work hours or away from the work location if the harasser is a co-worker or supervisor.
What can I do if I'm being sexually harassed in Georgia?
Contact the sexual harassment attorneys at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP if you believe you are the victim of sexual harassment at work. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can help you, because no one deserves to be subjected to sexual harassment on the job.
What damages can sexual harassment victims claim?
Our sexual harassment lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP seek damages for:
- Any financial losses because you were fired, weren’t promoted, or were demoted including:
- Wages, raises, commissions, tips, and other types of income
- The value of any lost benefits such as health insurance
- Vacation pay
- Sick pay
- Retirement benefits or pension benefits
- Other economic benefits of employment, such as lost stock options, if you qualify
- Job reinstatement where practical
- Emotional suffering
- Damage to your reputation
- Statutory damages
- Attorneys’ fees and court costs
Some exceptions and caps may apply.
Do you have a sexual harassment attorney near me?
Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP is based in Atlanta. Our office is located at 600 Peachtree St. NE, Suite 3900. We proudly serve clients throughout Georgia, including those in Athens, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, and Savannah. Out Atlanta sexual harassment lawyers also conduct phone and video consultations by appointment.
Our law firm has both male and female sexual harassment lawyers, so you will be able to speak with an experienced attorney with whom you are comfortable talking about the harm you experienced in the workplace.
Speak with our Atlanta sexual harassment attorneys now
Don’t wait. You have the right to work free from any type of sexual harassment. You have the right to be judged based on how well you do your job. You have the right to a safe environment. Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP has the experience, tenacity, and resources to hold supervisors and employers accountable when they violate these rights, and when they violate your dignity. Our Atlanta sexual harassment lawyers work quickly and persuasively to assert your rights. We represent workers across Georgia. To get started on your case, please call or contact us now. We’ll help you through this difficult time.