Experienced Maryland Sexual Harassment Lawyer
If you are the victim of sexual harassment, you no longer have to suffer in silence. At this law firm, your Maryland sexual harassment lawyer will take allegations of sexual harassment seriously and will fight relentlessly to obtain justice and compensation.
Every employee has the right to work in a safe and healthy workplace that is free from unwanted sexual advances.
If you have experienced unwanted sexual advances or are constantly faced with sexually-charged conduct or statements in your workplace, contact a Maryland sexual harassment lawyer today for a confidential consultation so that we can begin the process of putting together a game plan to put a stop to this type of conduct and protect your rights in the workplace.
At this law firm, we take allegations of sexual harassment seriously and are relentless on behalf of our clients in obtaining justice and compensation for them.
When clients retain us to represent them, we understand that they are often afraid of retaliation by their employer and their coworkers. Under the law, however, an employer is prohibited from retaliating against an employee because they filed a claim of sexual harassment. When we meet with our clients we lay out not only their rights under the law but also discuss various practical strategies that we can utilize to enhance their protections under the law. At The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford, L.L.C., our Maryland sexual harassment lawyers can strategically guide you through the process of lodging internal complaints with your employer, as well as filing charges with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights, the D.C. Office of Human Rights or any other applicable local administrative agency. Ultimately, it may be necessary for us to file suit against your employer, and we stand ready to represent you in court.
Protect Your Rights With An Experienced Maryland Sexual Harassment Lawyer
Sexual harassment is defined by the EEOC as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature that creates an intimidating or hostile work environment, or unreasonably interferes with that individual’s employment. This type of harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, but can also include offensive remarks about a person’s sex. Although sexual harassment is illegal, it still occurs all too often in workplaces across Maryland. If you are the victim of sexual harassment or face a hostile work environment, you need to contact an experienced Maryland sexual harassment lawyer here at The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford, L.L.C. immediately so that we can confidentially counsel you and put together a game plan to help you successfully resolve the situation you are facing.
How to Handle Sexual Harassment and Assault at Work
Sexual harassment and assault in the workplace are very sensitive subjects, but ones that should be taken seriously. Sexual harassment often requires the victim to submit as an implicit or explicit condition of their employment or as the basis of decisions concerning their promotion. If you believe that you are being sexually harassed at work, you should consider taking the following actions:
- Confront the harasser: The easiest and most direct way to stop sexual harassment is to explain to the perpetrator that his or her actions make you uncomfortable and ask them to stop. This is often enough to stop the harassment, especially where the perpetrator is unaware that his or her actions are potentially inappropriate.
- Document the behavior: Although sexual harassment and assault are illegal, the EEOC and the courts need evidence that it occurred before they can hold an employer responsible. Gather this evidence by documenting the date, time, place, and events that occurred.
- Report it to management: If confronting the harasser does not work, consider reporting the harasser’s behavior to management so that an internal investigation may be launched.
- Report it to police: If you have been the victim of sexual assault, you should immediately report it to the police.
- Discuss your options with a Maryland sexual harassment lawyer. If the behavior persist and/or management is not protecting your safety, it's best to speak with an attorney to learn your rights and options.
Unwelcome Conduct in the Workplace
To be considered sexual harassment, the conduct or communication must be regarded as “unwelcome.” Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to determine what constitutes unwelcome conduct. It is perhaps obvious, but invited or otherwise welcome behavior cannot be considered sexual harassment. Conduct that occurs between co-workers in a consensual romantic relationship is not likely to be considered sexual harassment, even if it violates company policy. That said, relationships can end, and consent can be withdrawn.
It is important to note that the victim does not have to have done or said anything to prove that the conduct or communication was unwelcome. Instead, Maryland courts will consider the totality of the circumstances surrounding the complaint to determine whether the conduct was unwelcome. This is particularly helpful in situations where the harasser is the victim’s superior or is physically intimidating. An experienced Maryland sexual harassment lawyer can review your situation and help you build a strong case.
A Maryland Sexual Harassment Lawyer Can Help You Deal With Conduct or Communication That is Sexual in Nature
In addition to proving that the conduct or communication was unwelcome, you must also prove that it was sexual in nature. Sexual harassment is often overt to the point of qualifying as sexual assault. Groping, kissing, or making sexually explicit comments are often clearly sexual in nature and are typically clear cases of sexual harassment.
That said, there are many situations where the conduct or communication is not as easily identified as sexual. For example, the following behavior can be ambiguous:
- Patting on the arms or shoulders
- Standing close
- Staring or leering
- Physically blocking their path or otherwise interfering with their movement
- Making sexually suggestive comments in the victim’s presence
Similar to determining whether the conduct was welcome, Maryland courts will again consider all of the facts and circumstances surrounding the complaint. The context is critical to determining whether or not the conduct or communication rose to the level of sexual harassment.
How a Maryland Sexual Harassment Lawyer Can Help
If you are the victim of sexual harassment, you need someone on your side. Even well-intentioned people can be skeptical when asked to believe that people of reputation and standing are sexually harassing their employees. As mentioned above, the conduct itself may be ambiguous and must be understood in the larger context of the facts and circumstances surrounding the behavior.
An experienced Maryland sexual harassment lawyer can help you build your case to get a fair result. Your lawyer can help in the following ways:
- By gathering important documentation and other evidence that your employer is refusing to provide or denying it has
- By interviewing witnesses and obtaining their statements
- By identifying the pertinent facts
- By preparing you to testify so that your story is compelling and consistent
- By preparing you to respond to questions from opposing counsel or the judge
Your lawyer can also provide valuable guidance concerning your legal strategy and what your case may be worth.
Working With The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford, L.L.C.
Working with the experienced sexual harassment lawyers here at The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford, L.L.C. is simple, confidential and efficient. We are experienced in counseling and representing employees who are experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace. When you meet with us, we thoroughly review your options and the law and then put together a comprehensive strategy to achieve your goals. Attorney Jamaal (“Jay”) W. Stafford is an experienced sexual harassment lawyer in Maryland, and he is no stranger to the courtroom. He brings to bear his litigation experience and employment law expertise to craft creative solutions for each of his clients. If you would like to schedule an initial consultation with an attorney at The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford, L.L.C., you can contact us today via our website or call us at 410-514-6099.