Philadelphia Employment Law News

Extreme Sexual Harassment Is Still Out There: What You Can Do

As we progress into the 21st century we tend to think that everything is progressing along with time. However, we are occasionally reminded that we have not yet met this ideal.

One extreme example of this is a boss in the Washington, D.C., area who has been accused of sexually harassing female employees in a very extreme manner. Three women have sued UGL Services Limited, a Portland, Maine-based staffing company, for its failure to act after receiving their complaints of sexual harassment, according to Courthouse News Service.

The women reported their supervisor, Felix Miranda, because he allegedly exposed himself and sexually assaulted the women continuously between 2010 and 2011. The most extreme accusation is that Miranda locked one of the women in a closet with him and forced her to watch his homemade pornography while he grabbed her breast and masturbated, according to Courthouse News.

With this or any type of harassment, a victim can pursue several courses of action.

In general, the first step to take when you believe that you are being harassed is to inform your direct supervisor and then go up the chain of command. If this does not rectify the situation, then you can ask the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to investigate the issue and potentially negotiate a settlement on behalf of you and other employees.

You can also sue the company on your own instead of reporting to the EEOC, as the women here have done. Also, if the harassment rises to the level of physical assault you can also file a criminal complaint against the offender.

Sexual harassment claims can take two forms. Quid pro quo harassment occurs when a supervisor requires sexual favors or a sexual relationship from an employee in order for the employee to keep her job, be promoted, or even be hired.

Hostile work environment harassment occurs when there are offensive sexual comments, jokes, photographs, etc., around the workplace that create an intimidating and offensive work environment.

Here, the claims against Miranda are many and disturbing. He is accused of forcing the women to look at his "chirikin," the term he allegedly used for his penis, and referring to the women as his "lovers," according to Courthouse News.

It is likely that the women will be successful in their sexual harassment lawsuit, especially if it's true, as alleged, that Miranda's supervisor told them not to report the incidents to human resources. So no matter what your worry is in this economy, never listen to someone that tells you not to report sexual harassment.

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