Boston, Holt & Durham, PLLC

Sexual harassment violates Tennessee employment law

The goal of many Tennessee employees is to compete their work tasks in a safe environment and receive timely pay for the hours completed while on the job. Sometimes an obstacle can come up that can cause unrest at work and not allow an employee to feel safe. Sexual harassment has become a significant concern that has created changes in employment law.

Since women began to enter the workforce, sexual harassment has been as common as paychecks. But now, thanks to many brave women over the years, women are speaking out about sexual harassment in the workplace and taking a stand against those who are committing or have committed the illegal acts. The first real wave of awareness came in 1991 when Anita Hill testified about suffering sexual harassment imposed by now U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Especially in positions where men hold authority and women are in the minority, sexual harassment seems to abound. In 1982, a sexual harassment lawsuit was filed by a female firefighter that forced the New York City Fire Department to examine and make revisions to its physical exam, which would allow for women to pass as well as men. She has said that she as well as 39 other female firefighters were victims of harassment, even while they were on probation and training for their jobs.

Everyone should be able to work without facing a violation of their personal rights. Should someone become a victim of sexual or any other type of harassment while on the job, reporting such infractions should not result in the loss of employment, demotion or any other form of punishment for speaking out. Victims of sexual abuse or retaliation for reporting it may be entitled to legal recourse, and may benefit by consulting a Tennessee attorney experienced in employment law.

Source: U.S. News and World Report, "Before the 1990s, Little Recourse for Harassment Victims", David Crary, Dec. 27, 2017

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