If you have been accused of workplace sexual harassment in Georgia, it is important that you learn more about the laws that surround this situation. If you are a business owner or employer, your livelihood can be seriously threatened by these accusations. Sexual harassment in the workplace has the potential to ruin your reputation and your career. This is why it is so important to enlist the help of an experienced attorney who can help you seek justice.
How Does Georgia Handle Workplace Sexual Harassment?
In terms of actual legislation, there is no state law that prohibits workplace sexual harassment in the state of Georgia. However, this does not mean that people who engage in workplace sexual harassment cannot face consequences. First of all, the lack of state laws in this area only applies to private employers. In 2019, the state of Georgia issued an executive order for preventing sexual harassment for all employees who interact with the State Government.
With all that said, Georgia still prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, which is outlined in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Private employers with more than 15 employees must comply with these laws. According to Georgia state law, sexual harassment may classify as an example of discrimination based on sex. Because of this, when a plaintiff accuses an employer of workplace sexual harassment in Georgia, they usually need to show that this harassment was in some way discriminatory based on their sex.
Types of Workplace Sexual Harassment
For the most part, there are two different types of workplace sexual harassment:
- Quid Pro Quo: A Quid Pro Quo sexual harassment occurs when an individual is made to believe that they must submit to sexual harassment in order to keep their job. A woman may also be the victim of Quid Pro Quo if she is made to believe that she must accept sexual harassment in order to gain promotions, bonuses, or special assignments.
- Hostile Work Environment: An employee may make a Hostile Work Environment claim if she believes that sexual harassment has made her work environment hostile, offensive, or intimidating. Examples may include unwelcome sexual advances, verbal sexual conduct, and overt requests for sexual favors.
Reeves v. C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc.
A notable example of a workplace sexual harassment case occurred in 2010 with Reeves v. C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. In this case, a female employee argued that she had been subjected to radio shows, daily conversations, and jokes that were all degrading to women. The court ruled in her favor and agreed that this type of sexual harassment constituted a form of sexual discrimination.
Your Legal Options
If you have been accused of workplace sexual harassment, you have a number of legal options. If the accusations are false, you may be able to file a slander or defamation lawsuit. It is important to understand that as a business owner or primary employer, you may be liable for sexual harassment allegations even if you did not commit these offenses personally. Reach out to Lankford & Moore Law today, and we will help you protect your business and your reputation.