If someone subjected you to uncomfortable or unwanted behavior, you may wonder if it qualifies as sexual harassment. The legal definition of sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances and similar behavior. It can occur in the workplace and affect people of any age and gender.
Attorney for Victims of Sexual Harassment in Columbia
If you’re a victim of sexual harassment, you can get help from one of our Columbia sexual harassment lawyers. Our team can listen to you, help you understand your situation better, and then pursue legal action on your behalf. Contact The Louthian Law Firm to learn more. We offer free consultations.
Our Sexual Harassment Lawyers in South Carolina Can Help You
We have experience handling sexual harassment cases, as our case results can attest. For example, in one case against a college president, we achieved a verdict of $500,000 along with attorney’s fees. In another case, we achieved a $446,000 arbitration award for a financial advisor.
Regardless of your situation, we know how to help you. First, we can work to stop the harasser’s behavior and then seek to hold them accountable.
Why You Should Choose Our Firm?
Many personal law firms can assist victims in South Carolina, but they may not offer the same kind of experience and service we offer. You deserve respect and care.
With our firm, you’ll get that and much more, including:
- The family treatment: Because we’re a family-owned firm, we treat each client like family. So, we’ll do everything to protect you from further harm, understand your situation, hold your harasser or abuser accountable, and obtain compensation for you. We won’t treat you like another client, as other firms might.
- The benefits of more than 80 years of experience: Since our attorneys have over 80 years of combined experience in personal injury law, they know how to help people in situations like yours. Our attorneys also know how to handle companies that enable harassers or abusers and threaten our clients’ employment. Additionally, our attorneys know how to handle a case like yours, taking it to court.
- Reassurance: We’ve had many positive case results and have a five-star rating on Google Reviews. That should reassure you that we have the level of commitment and client satisfaction you want from a legal team.
- A contingency-fee arrangement: With this kind of arrangement, you won’t pay your attorney unless they produce results for your case. You won’t pay for your initial consultation with us, either. Other firms charge by the hour and charge additional fees, but we don’t, which can make hiring an attorney very affordable for you.
You can count on our team to stand by you throughout the entire process.
How Our South Carolina Sexual Harassment Lawyers Can Help You?
Our sexual harassment lawyers can handle every aspect of your case. Our team can:
#1. Answer Your Questions
Upon calling our firm for the first time, a team member will provide a free consultation and case review. We can help you understand what qualifies as sexual harassment, what kind of case you have, and how we can proceed by filing a legal claim or lawsuit.
#2. Protect You and Your Job
After your consultation, if you hire one of our attorneys for your case, your attorney can assure you that everything you say will remain confidential. Your attorney can also tell you how they’ll protect your rights.
Additionally, your attorney can take steps to prevent any future instances of harassment or any retaliation from your employer. Such steps may include reaching out to your employer’s human resources department for you or contacting the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission about the incident.
#3. Build Your Case
Your attorney can listen to your story and begin investigating and building your case. While listening to your story, your lawyer may ask you how the experience affected you and may still affect you. Then, your lawyer can help you determine and list your emotional, physical, and economic damages. These expenses and losses can prove important for your case and your legal action.
The case building process involves identifying the harasser and any other parties involved, like an employer, and gathering evidence of the parties’ behavior and negligence. In your case, the evidence can include footage from a camera in your workplace, and helpful corroborating evidence may include witness testimony.
#4. Manage Your Legal Action
Once your lawyer builds a strong case, your lawyer can file the paperwork for a legal claim or lawsuit. Managing your legal action means negotiating a settlement or fighting for a court verdict. Regardless, your lawyer can fight for justice and a fair outcome for you.
Our team can represent your best interests from start to finish.
What Exactly Qualifies as Sexual Harassment?
The definition of sexual harassment can seem somewhat vague, but it encompasses many different behaviors. For example, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (and explained by the United Nations), the definition includes sexual advances unwanted by the other person. This may involve requests for sexual favors or sexualized actions or comments.
Sexual harassment can happen anywhere—in public, at work, or at home. Any unwelcome sexual behavior may qualify as sexual harassment.
A lawyer from our firm can help you determine whether you faced sexual harassment. If you believe or know this happened to you, you should speak with our team. We can listen to your story and explain everything you need to know to move forward.
Examples of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment can include many different unwanted physical and verbal behaviors, including but not necessarily limited to:
- Pressure for sexual favors or datesc
- Sexual gestures or looks
- Sexual questions, comments, innuendos, jokes, remarks, or teasing
- Spreading lies or rumors about a person’s sex life
- Intentional touching, cornering, or leaning over
- Rape or attempted rape
- Sexual assault or attempted sexual assault
- Sexually suggestive signs or signals
- Correspondence of a sexual nature, such as phone calls or letters
- Similar or related behaviors
If you don’t see what happened to you on this list above, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t sexual harassment. Other behaviors may also qualify as harassment.
What Potential Damages Can You Receive in a Sexual Harassment Case?
A victim of sexual harassment may have serious trauma, especially if the harassment involved assault or another crime. Since each case comes with unique circumstances, each victim’s damages can differ.
Certain professionals, like doctors, financial experts, and your lawyer, can help determine your potential damages.
You could claim emotional, physical, and economic damages, including:
- Emotional/mental distress damages for the intangible harm the experience caused you, such as mental anguish, panic, anxiety, depression, loss of enjoyment of life, trouble sleeping, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and similar damages
- Reputational harm damages
- Pain and suffering damages and related damages for physical harm
- Medical damages and related damages, such as the costs of doctor and/or therapist visits
- Back-pay or other related damages if your employer fired you or you felt forced to resign from work due to the incident
- Punitive damages, under certain circumstances, to punish a party or multiple parties involved in the incident and to deter future incidents
What Qualifies as Evidence in Sexual Harassment Cases?
Many victims of sexual harassment worry about finding proof they were harassed—and on top of it all, having to convince others. However, our lawyers can use a lot of documentation for your case.
These steps can help you build a case.
- Record details of the incidents. For one, you can log the incident and any other incidents. For example, keep copies of emails of anything a harasser says or does. You can also write down when and how another party, such as a work manager, handles the situation. This log can serve as valuable evidence in your case.
- Take care of your mental health and treat any injuries. Facing harassment can be overwhelming. See a therapist if needed. Then, you can get a mental health statement for your records, either from your therapist or another doctor. If a coworker or supervisor harmed you physically, get treatment. This will also create a record of your injuries.
A sexual harassment lawyer from our firm can advise you about getting more evidence, organizing it appropriately, and then proving your case.
How Do I File a Sexual Harassment Claim in South Carolina?
If possible, inform your employer of the unwelcome actions. Your employer must make a lawful attempt to solve the problem to avoid liability. However, if the inappropriate behavior continues, you have 180 days to file a claim with the S.C. Human Affairs Commission or the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. You may still file if you’ve missed that deadline, but don’t wait more than 300 days. Keep in mind that no lawsuit can move forward until you’ve filed a formal complaint.
It would be wise to contact a South Carolina sexual harassment attorney like the ones at the Louthian Law Firm to walk you through the complaint process. Our attorneys have a track record of success with sexual harassment lawsuits.
Is Sexual Harassment Illegal?
The federal Civil Rights Act makes sexual harassment illegal in the U.S. Additionally, if a sexual harassment case involves assault, false imprisonment, or another serious charge, it can violate other state or federal laws.
One of our firm’s sexual harassment lawyers in South Carolina can help you determine whether you faced sexual harassment and how the law applies to your case.
Should I Talk to a Law Firm About My Sexual Harassment Case?
Often, sexual harassment victims hesitate to come forward about their cases. They may not know what qualifies as sexual harassment and whether they have a case. In addition, they might fear retaliation, such as a demotion, firing, or abuse.
These concerns are valid. However, they also constitute good reasons to ask for legal help. If you seek out a case review from our team, your call is free, confidential, and comes with no obligation. You can ask your questions and concerns and get informed answers.
You should also consider seeking legal help even if you’re unsure whether you have a case. Our team can tell you more and explain your options. You may seek justice and compensation. Don’t let uncertainty keep you from taking steps for your well-being.
Employer Retaliation Is Illegal
Know that an employer cannot retaliate against a sexual harassment victim. For example, it’s illegal for an employer to fire a victim who reported sexual harassment. In fact, if an employer doesn’t make a good faith and serious effort to help the victim, the employer can bear legal liability.
Why You Should Talk to Our Law Firm?
You will face no consequences by speaking with someone from our firm about your case, but you may see many benefits, including protection from further harassment and illegal retaliation.
Additionally, your lawyer can help you hold the responsible party or parties accountable by filing a personal injury lawsuit or taking other legal action. Don’t face this situation alone.
Sexual Harassment Case FAQs
Can sexual harassment really be called an on-the-job injury?
Yes. Even though you may not have been physically harmed by a sexual harasser, such harassment still qualifies as a workplace injury because it creates an intolerable work environment. That type of injury can include unwanted physical touching or verbal abuse.
Sexual harassment is typically divided into two categories:
- Quid pro quo: Defined in Latin as “this for that,” quid pro quo harassment occurs when a worker – usually a supervisor – makes sexual advances in which it is implied that you will receive positive benefits (such as a raise or favorable recommendation) or negative retribution (such as a poor performance review or termination) if you comply with the request.
- Hostile work environment: This category includes any unsolicited sexual innuendo that doesn’t imply that you must perform sexual favors.
The Louthian Law Firm’s attorneys have extensive experience with quid pro quo lawsuits and cases of unwanted touching in the workplace. Contact our South Carolina lawyers today at 803-592-6231 or fill out our confidential online form.
My co-worker has been making suggestive comments. I laughed and responded back at first, but now it’s progressed and I’m uncomfortable. Can I still file a sexual harassment lawsuit against him?
Perhaps. However, if possible, try telling your co-worker that the teasing needs to stop. He or she may not be aware that it has escalated beyond your comfort zone. If nothing changes or you feel scared to confront the harasser, don’t be afraid to pursue the claim just because you initially played a role in the sexual-related banter.
Will the harasser’s lawyers embarrass me in court?
While we would expect South Carolina lawyers to behave sensitively in court, remember that they have a duty to zealously defend their client against these serious charges. It is likely you will have to address uncomfortable questions about your sexual history, and that can be difficult for many people. The attorneys at the Louthian Law Firm are sympathetic to your concerns and can counsel you on what to anticipate as your case proceeds.
Contact The Louthian Law Firm Today for a Sexual Harassment Lawyer in South Carolina
Don’t hesitate to contact our firm if you don’t know what qualifies as sexual harassment and whether you have a case (or if your loved one has a case).
We can work to understand your situation and what to do about it. Then, if you decide to hire one of our sexual harassment attorneys, your lawyer can listen to your needs and help you with your legal claim or lawsuit.
Your initial discussion with us is confidential and free, and you’ll only pay for our services on a results-only basis. The call comes with no obligation.