Practice Areas

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is strictly prohibited in workplaces under New Hampshire and federal law. Civil rights laws including Title VII all contribute to protecting workers from sexual harassment and when an employer violates anti-harassment laws, that employer can become liable for all resulting damages that arise as a result of the harassment.

Laws related to sexual harassment provide many protections for harassment victims, but they can be legally complex. If you are a victim of sexual harassment, you deserve to have your rights vindicated and to recover damages from the person who treated you unfairly. As such, it is important to have an experienced legal professional in your corner who is able to help you to take action against anyone who sexually harasses you at your job.  At Burns, Bryant, Cox, Rockefeller & Durkin, we have represented many victims of sexual harassment, helping them to get compensation not only for money lost as a result of the harassing behavior but also, in some cases, for the emotional stresses of what they endured.

Sexual Harassment Laws in New Hampshire

Under federal civil rights laws and New Hampshire law, there are two different situations that can give rise to a claim for sexual harassment. These include:

  • Quid pro quo harassment. Some concrete employment action is taken as a result of the granting or withholding of sexual favors. For example, quid pro quo harassment applies when an employee is offered a raise in exchange for sexual favors, as well as in situations where an employee is fired for refusing sexual favors.
  • Hostile work environment harassment. If someone is made to feel uncomfortable or stigmatized as a result of his or her gender, or is otherwise subject to harassing behavior at work, this can lead to hostile work environment harassment. For instance, if there is one woman in an office full of men and she is continually forced to listen to sexual jokes and receive sexual explicit jokes via email, this can be considered a case of hostile work environment harassment.

In both a quid pro quo case and a hostile work environment case, it is individual employees who are doing the harassing. However, employers can be held responsible for the harassment in addition to the individual or individuals who actually engaged in the wrongful behavior. In the vast majority of cases, taking action against the employer rather than or in addition to the harasser is the smart choice. Although employees may be able to defend themselves against a claim of sexual harassment by proving that they had a reasonable grievance procedure in place and you did not take it, this defense is very limited and the employer will have the burden of proving that you should have taken advantage of the grievance system.

To learn more about your rights in sexual harassment cases and for help taking action when you have been harassed, it is a smart choice to contact an experienced New Hampshire sexual harassment lawyer at Burns, Bryant, Cox, Rockefeller & Durkin.

To learn more about the legal services we can provide to clients in cases involving sexual harassment, contact Burns, Bryant, Cox, Rockefeller & Durkin today at 603-742-2332 or use our online form to get in touch with us. We represent clients facing all types of sexual harassment and employment issues throughout the New Hampshire area.