var googletag = googletag || {}; googletag.cmd = googletag.cmd || []; googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.pubads().disableInitialLoad(); });
device = device.default;
//this function refreshes [adhesion] ad slot every 60 second and makes prebid bid on it every 60 seconds // Set timer to refresh slot every 60 seconds function setIntervalMobile() { if (!device.mobile()) return if (adhesion) setInterval(function(){ googletag.pubads().refresh([adhesion]); }, 60000); } if(device.desktop()) { googletag.cmd.push(function() { leaderboard_top = googletag.defineSlot('/22018898626/LC_Article_detail_page', [468, 60], 'div-gpt-ad-1591620860846-0').setTargeting('pos', ['1']).setTargeting('div_id', ['leaderboard_top']).addService(googletag.pubads()); googletag.pubads().collapseEmptyDivs(); googletag.enableServices(); }); } else if(device.tablet()) { googletag.cmd.push(function() { leaderboard_top = googletag.defineSlot('/22018898626/LC_Article_detail_page', [320, 50], 'div-gpt-ad-1591620860846-0').setTargeting('pos', ['1']).setTargeting('div_id', ['leaderboard_top']).addService(googletag.pubads()); googletag.pubads().collapseEmptyDivs(); googletag.enableServices(); }); } else if(device.mobile()) { googletag.cmd.push(function() { leaderboard_top = googletag.defineSlot('/22018898626/LC_Article_detail_page', [320, 50], 'div-gpt-ad-1591620860846-0').setTargeting('pos', ['1']).setTargeting('div_id', ['leaderboard_top']).addService(googletag.pubads()); googletag.pubads().collapseEmptyDivs(); googletag.enableServices(); }); } googletag.cmd.push(function() { // Enable lazy loading with... googletag.pubads().enableLazyLoad({ // Fetch slots within 5 viewports. // fetchMarginPercent: 500, fetchMarginPercent: 100, // Render slots within 2 viewports. // renderMarginPercent: 200, renderMarginPercent: 100, // Double the above values on mobile, where viewports are smaller // and users tend to scroll faster. mobileScaling: 2.0 }); });
×

How to Handle Sexual Harassment in Law Offices

( 23 votes, average: 4.2 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
What Constitutes Sexual Harassment?

"Sexual harassment" refers to undesired sexual advances. Sexual harassment is a violation of personal rights provided for in Civil Rights Act Title VII, which was passed in1993. According to the aforementioned Act, sexual harassment constitutes undesired sexual advances, including words or actions that are sexual in nature and have a direct effect on a person's employment in terms of performance and/or making the work environment uncomfortable. Sexual harassment is not only be perpetrated by a member of the opposite sex; a member of the same sex as the victim might be responsible. Another major element that is used to distinguish sexual harassment from harmless conduct is the intention of the harasser. If the harasser does not have any sexual intentions, then the alleged conduct or words may not qualify or amount to sexual harassment. Lack of consent is yet another important element that must be proved in sexual harassment cases. There must be proof that the victim did not consent to the sexual advances, words, or conduct of the harasser.


Prevalence of Sexual Harassment

The Human Rights Act of 1993, which seeks to define human rights and protect those rights, states that any acts or words that violate human dignity amount to an abuse of human rights. The law has put the onus on all employers and all senior-level management in organizations to ensure that sexual harassment does not occur in when people are on the job. Despite the passing of this act, however, sexual harassment is still prevalent in workplaces, especially in law offices. Sexual harassment by lawyers is very common in the world today. While it would be expected that such a violation of the law would not occur in law offices as people working there are familiar with the law, law offices are actually the place where sexual harassment is most prevalent.

Read related: Leave Sex, Politics, Religion, and Social Activism out of Your Job Search and Career If You Want to Work in a Large Law Firm

A classic example is that of Rena Weeks, who had been employed as a secretary by a reputable law firm. The man she was working under, however, constantly pursued her, always making clear his sexual intentions. Rena quit the firm and sued her former boss. She was awarded significant compensation, not only for the embarrassment and depression she suffered but also for the financial loss occasioned by her resignation.

It is quite obvious that there are numerous cases of this nature, many of which are never reported as the victims suffer in silence. The step that Weeks took was a brave one which unfortunately not many women are able to take. Weeks' case goes a long way to show how prevalent sexual harassment still is, especially in law offices, more than ten years after the legislation against sexual harassment was passed.

What to Do When Sexually Harassed

The first thing that victims of sexual harassment are advised never to do is to keep quiet about the problem. Failure to report sexual harassment at its early stages could bring adverse consequences later. It is also important that the victim takes the bold step of confronting the harasser. The harasser should be made aware that his behavior and/or his words or conduct are undesirable and uncalled for. It is also wise to seek support from other people, especially coworkers. In extreme cases, however, a victim has a legal right to file a suit against the harasser under the relevant laws and legislation.

What to Do When Falsely Accused of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is not only a violation of the relevant laws; it is also a violation of societal morals. Therefore, it follows that it is a weighty and grievous offense that causes a lot of emotional distress, either for the victim or for any person who is falsely accused of the offense. As a matter of fact, falsely accusing any person of sexual harassment is in itself a violation of the law that can lead to a jail term. False accusations of that sort amount to defamation of character, and one can, therefore, file a case under the relevant defamation laws.

How to Protect Yourself from Sexual Harassment

It is not easy to anticipate sexual harassment and therefore know how to protect yourself. However, to be on the safe side, it is important to always keep a few things in mind to ensure that you protect yourself from sexual harassment. Firstly, it is important to always follow your company's dress code when going to work; revealing clothes should not be worn in the workplace. Jokes that are sexual in nature should be avoided at all costs. This will help prevent misinterpretations by others. As already mentioned, if you feel that you are being sexually harassed, it is not wise to remain silent about it.


About Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes is the founder of LawCrossing and an internationally recognized expert in attorney search and placement. Harrison is extremely committed to and passionate about the profession of legal placement. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. LawCrossing has been ranked on the Inc. 500 twice. For more information, please visit Harrison Barnes’ bio.

About LawCrossing
LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit www.LawCrossing.com.


Featured Testimonials

I love this site. I use it without fail whenever I am looking for a job, and I have found a job every time.
Jesyka


Facts

LawCrossing Fact #14: LawCrossing provides various features about or written by professionals from the law industry, ensuring that the advice is from seasoned professionals who know.

 
Let's Do It!
Email:

Only LawCrossing consolidates every job it can find in the legal industry and puts all of the job listings it locates in one place.

  • We have more than 25 times as many legal jobs as any other job board.
  • We list jobs you will not find elsewhere that are hidden in small regional publications and employer websites.
  • We collect jobs from more than 250,000 websites and post them on our site.
  • Increase your chances of being seen! Employers on public job boards get flooded with applications. Our private job boards ensure that only members can apply to our job postings.
About Harrison Barnes

Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.

Success Stories

I was able to obtain my new job through LawCrossing. I love your service! Hopefully, I won't need your help for a while, but if I do, I'll certainly sign up again. I have already told others about your great site.
  • Theresa D. Colorado