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What is considered workplace sexual harassment in Ohio?

On Behalf of | Apr 14, 2023 | Sexual Harassment

Has a manager or coworker ever done or said something to you that seemed inappropriate or made you feel uncomfortable? You might suspect that the person’s comments or actions were sexual harassment. Or maybe it was borderline but legal workplace behavior. How can you know for sure?

The two types of harassment

There are two forms of sexual harassment under state and federal law in Ohio:

  • Quid Pro Quo. In this form of harassment, a business owner, executive, manager or supervisor offers a raise, promotion or other job benefit in exchange for sex. Alternatively, the person in power threatens to fire, demote or punish the victim unless they perform sexual acts.
  • Hostile work environment. In this type of sexual harassment, the perpetrator uses sexually inappropriate comments, suggestions, “jokes,” emails, cartoons, drawings, videos and so forth that are so pervasive that they make it emotionally and psychologically impossible for the victim to work.

Whichever form sexual harassment takes, it is against the law. But it is not a crime that police investigate and prosecutors bring charges over. Instead, the law gives victims the right to sue their harassers — and their employer, if they failed to take reasonable steps to punish the offenders and prevent future harassment.

Talk about what happened to you

If you believe you have been harassed at work, you likely are not imagining things. But to find out for sure, a consultation with an employment law attorney can clarify matters. A lawyer who regularly represents employees in sexual harassment claims can evaluate your case and advise you on next steps.