Sexual harassment is a serious problem in West Virginia and throughout the U.S. Workers should be hired or retained based on their hard work and accomplishments in the office, not for anything else. Unfortunately, some people become victims of sexual harassment in their workplace, which can make work unbearable. It's important for these individuals to know that sexual harassment is illegal, and there are ways to take legal action.
Last month, a former employee of Family Dollar Corporation filed a lawsuit against the company and one of its male employees. According to records filed in Kanawha Circuit Court, the defendant -- the plaintiff's supervisor -- touched her inappropriately and made inappropriate comments while at work. She said the behavior was not welcome and eventually caused her to quit.
In this case, the woman who filed the lawsuit said the sexual harassment by her supervisor caused her mental and emotional distress, embarrassment, and a loss of personal dignity. These repercussions are things that many victims of sexual harassment feel after being violated by a co-worker or supervisor. However, creating a hostile work environment go against the West Virginia Human Rights Act. As the plaintiff in this case is doing, victims of sexual harassment can seek compensation for the damages they suffered due to illegal sexual harassment.
Being the victim of sexual harassment can be very scary. Not only have you been violated in some way, but you may fear that if you report it, you could be fired. First, if an employer fires you for reporting sexual harassment, it may be considered wrongful termination, which is illegal. Second, it's important that a victim of sexual harassment seek help, whether through a human resources department or from an experienced attorney. No one should have to suffer through sexual harassment in the workplace.
Source: West Virginia Record, "Former employee sues Family Dollar, alleges sexual harassment," Kyla Asbury, Feb. 1, 2013