To comply with the Disclosing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Act of 2018, every employer in Maryland with 50 or more employees must now report sexual harassment settlements to the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights (“MCCR”). The MCCR will soon publish the aggregate statistics of settlements reported. Employers are also required to submit this information again on or before July 1, 2022.
Understanding Sexual Assault and Harassment
Sexual harassment can occur anywhere. In a work environment, a supervisor may seek to use his or her authority to provide money, gifts or promotions in exchange for sexual favors from an employee in a lower position. This is known as “quid pro quo” sexual harassment, which means “this for that.” The long-term effects of sexual harassment can be pervasive. Survivors of sexual harassment may need to take an excessive amount sick leave, may have a hard time holding a job, and may need withdraw from classes as a result of the harassment. Sadly, these individuals may not realize that there are federal and state laws that can hold the perpetrators accountable for their actions.
What Legal Rights Do Survivors Have?
Employees can file formal complaints with their office’s Human Resources Department, but they also have rights and resources independent of their employer. Law enforcement may investigate instances of sexual assault in the workplace. Employees may also report sexual misconduct to state and federal agencies, which can opt to investigate claims of sexual harassment or discrimination. Survivors may also have the option to file a civil lawsuit against their harasser and/or their employer for the wrongful conduct they suffered.
Filing a Lawsuit for Sexual Harassment or Sexual Assault
If you experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, you may be entitled to compensation. Grant & Eisenhofer’s civil rights attorneys can help you determine whether you have legal options to file a sexual harassment or sexual assault lawsuit. Call (855) 244-2031 or use our online form to schedule a free consultation.