Understanding Washington State Sexual Harassment as a Personal Injury
Most people understand that sexual harassment is a criminal offense; however, they are not aware of the civil tort claim that an injured party could pursue for injuries suffered from sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment often involves an uninvited or suggestive sexual advance or sexual comment made in the presence of or directed at another person. The common elements of a personal injury claim for sexual harassment include:
- The victim is part of a protected class of persons
- The victim was sexually harassed by another person
- The sexual harassment was caused by an intentional or negligent act
- The injured party suffered damage or harm due to the sexual harassment
An experienced attorney who works on sexual harassment cases will know that attorney's fees can be allowed in these cases under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) and federal law.
Although sexual harassment is classified as a personal injury claim, it differs from other common personal injury claims for several reasons, including the types of damages typically suffered from sexual harassment. Contacting the attorneys at Law Offices of Paul L. Schneiderman is one of the first steps you take if you are considering filing a sexual harassment suit. Call us at 206-464-1952 to schedule a Free Consultation.
Who Can Be Held Liable in Washington State?
The individual harasser and any company responsible for the harasser are the most common parties that can be held liable for sexual harassment. Most people understand that the individual engaging in the sexual harassment behavior can be liable; however, a company could also be liable for harassment from co-workers, supervisors, agents of an employer, or a customer.
There is no shortage of companies and employers that could be held liable for the sexual harassment of individuals at the workplace. For instance, nursing homes could be liable for sexual harassment by their employees, healthcare providers, other residents, and visitors.
Property owners could be liable to or for the actions of a property management company, renters, and visitors.
Proving Washington State Sexual Harassment
Evidence is essential in proving a sexual harassment case. It is very hard for an injured person to prove a successful sexual harassment claim without supporting evidence.
There are several types of evidence that can be used to support a sexual harassment case including:
- Eyewitness testimony or testimony from other victims
- Copies of communications from the party accused of harassment
- Copies of complaints, personnel files, or other documentation of incidents from a company
- Company policies relating to sexual harassment
- Proof of benefits or proposed benefits for sexual advances
- Personal accounts of the sexual harassment recorded by the victim
Often, it can be hard to obtain the necessary evidence from a company without the assistance of legal counsel because a company wants to avoid liability.
How a Sexual Harassment Attorney in Washington State Can Help You
Sexual harassment claims are generally more complex than other personal injury claims because they require different elements often involve incidents that occur in the workplace. Additionally, sexual harassment claims commonly must first be filed with the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or applicable state agency.
With the increased requirements and rules in a sexual harassment lawsuit, an experienced sexual harassment attorney could help simplify the process and seek the necessary evidence soon after an incident. Additionally, an attorney could help build a strong case against the harasser and any company involved in the harassment based on the EEOC and state burdens. This is why it is imperative you contact Law Offices of Paul L. Schneiderman at 206-464-1952 today to schedule a Free Consultation.