Sexual Harassment claims
Unwelcome attention can make you scared and worried, but can also terrify some individuals. The sad truth is that at many people (usually women but men can be victims too) receive unwanted sexual attention from colleagues at some time in their working lives.
Harassment is unwanted or unwelcome behaviour which is meant to, or has the effect of, either violating your dignity, or creating and intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. Sexual harassment covers a whole range of behaviour ranging from rude remarks, leering and suggestive comments through to physical contact or assault.
Under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and Equality Act 2010, sexual harassment is unlawful discrimination.
Please see our dedicated page on Sexual Harassment.
Whilst you can claim compensation for sexual harassment, it’s better if the problem never gets that far. Try to stamp out the behaviour as soon as you can by either mentioning it to the guilty party as soon as possible in a personal and informal way or if this doesn’t work or you feel as if you can’t do this then talk to your/their manager, informally at first.
If this approach doesn’t help and the harassment continues then don’t be afraid to raise a complaint officially using your employer’s formal grievance procedure. If all else fails then talk to a solicitor about the problem – Oakwood Solicitors are willing to talk to individuals confidentially and provide some free, initial advice.
Judges can award damages in successful claims, where the victim can show that they have suffered some disadvantage or injury to feeling from the sexual harassment. There is no upper limit on the amount of compensation a tribunal can award but guidance has been set down by case law and there are three “bands” of award depending on the severity of the harassment.
If you require specific advice in relation to sexual harassment or the injury to feeling bands please contact our employment law department.
A claim of sexual harassment can be brought against both the individual and an employer. If you feel you have been sexually harassed you must set your claim up initially with ACAS early conciliation. A claim can be brought for one off or continuing acts of harassment, but must be brought within three months less one day of the last act complained of.
If you feel you may have a claim we would always suggest that you seek legal advice at the earliest stage possible, to ensure that, if the behaviour is not appropriately dealt with, your claim will have the best possible prospects of success.