Personal boundaries should be respected, yet sexual harassment remains a menacing and disheartening reality in many workplaces. Beyond the confines of the workplace, this insidious behavior can occur in unexpected places.
If you have ever felt the weight of unwelcome advances or the chilling discomfort of lewd remarks while navigating social events, public spaces, or online interactions with coworkers or employers, you are not alone. Take a stand against harassment with the help of The Spiggle Law Firm and our sexual harassment attorneys today. Reach out to our experienced team to discuss your situation and explore your legal options.
What Is Considered Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment is an unlawful act that violates an individual’s dignity and basic human rights. In the workplace, it is a form of discrimination that involves unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. The harasser can be a supervisor, coworker, client, or any person with whom the victim interacts, both inside and outside the workplace.
In recent years, there has been increased awareness and legal action taken against sexual harassment in the workplace. However, it is essential to recognize that sexual harassment can extend beyond the boundaries of the workplace, affecting individuals in various settings, including public spaces and social environments.
Sexual Harassment Outside the Workplace
While sexual harassment from coworkers and employers often occurs within the workplace, such behavior can also manifest in various other settings. Common examples of sexual harassment outside the workplace may include incidents at social events, educational institutions, public places, or even on social media and through text and phone calls.
In Virginia, the law acknowledges that sexual harassment can have severe consequences on a victim’s emotional well-being and personal life, regardless of the location in which it occurs. As such, victims have the right to seek legal recourse and protection against their harassers.
Legal Protections for Victims of Sexual Harassment
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that prohibits discrimination based on sex, including sexual harassment, in workplaces with 15 or more employees. It covers a broad spectrum of workplaces, but it does not explicitly address harassment that occurs outside the workplace.
The Virginia Human Rights Act (VHRA) is a state law that provides protection against discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex and other protected characteristics, such as race, religion, and disability. The VHRA applies to employers with more than five but fewer than 15 employees, making it applicable to smaller businesses not covered by Title VII.
In certain cases, victims of sexual harassment outside the workplace may have the option to pursue common law claims, such as intentional infliction of emotional distress or assault and battery. These claims can be brought in addition to statutory claims and may be available if the harassment resulted in severe emotional distress or physical harm.
Depending on the nature of the harassment, victims may also consider filing criminal charges against the harasser. While the decision to pursue criminal charges lies with the prosecutor, victims can report incidents to law enforcement authorities, who can conduct investigations and press charges if needed.
Explore Your Legal Options After Suffering Sexual Harassment Outside Your Workplace with The Spiggle Law Firm
If you have experienced sexual harassment outside the workplace, it is crucial to consult with an experienced sexual harassment lawyer in Alexandria. At The Spiggle Law Firm, our team can assess your situation, explain your rights and options, and guide you through every step of the process of filing a claim. We can even help gather evidence, negotiate with the harasser’s legal counsel, or represent you in court if necessary. Contact us today to get started with a free review of your case. Call (202) 449-8527 or contact us online for more information.