Sexual Harassment:

Determining Voluntary Sexual Harassment

When an employee is having a sexual relationship with their employer, it can be difficult to determine whether the worker is a victim of sexual harassment. Many sexual harassment victims succumb to unwanted sexual advances for fear of losing their job. However, when an employee is being sexually harassed by their boss, they should speak out about the harassment rather than give into their employer’s sexual advances.

If you are being sexually harassed at work, it is important to contact a sexual harassment attorney. A lawyer experienced in sexual harassment law can examine your situation, explain your options and determine whether you are a victim of sexual harassment. To receive a free case review from a sexual harassment attorney today, fill out our case evaluation form.

In order to constitute harassment, sexual advances must be unwelcomed and involuntary. If an employee, by conduct, shows that the sexual advances are unwelcome, it does not matter if he or she eventually "voluntarily" succumbs to the harassment. If both members agree that the sexual relationship is voluntary, sexual harassment has not occurred. However, if the employer threatened the worker with the loss of their job for not submitting to the sexual acts, sexual harassment can be alleged. If you are unsure whether your relationship with an employer or co-worker is voluntary, speak with a sexual harassment attorney.

To determine whether the sexual advances are "unwelcome," the courts will often allow evidence concerning the employee's dress, behavior, and language, as indications of whether the employee "welcomed" the advances. Judges realize that the end of a voluntary sexual relationship may push an employee to file an unfounded sexual harassment claim; therefore, many sexual harassment cases become a question of proof. The court will take into account the testimonies of the defendant and plaintiff, as well as the facts in context to determine whether the initial advances were unwelcomed.

If you are being sexually harassed at work and want to speak with a sexual harassment attorney, fill out the free case review form on the right. A sexual harassment lawyer can examine the details of your case to determine whether your relationship was voluntary. If the sexual acts were unwelcomed, you may be able to file a sexual harassment claim.