WHAT IF YOUR EX BEGINS HARASSING YOU AT THE WORKPLACE
Most of the time, unwanted advances from a coworker or supervisor can easily be classified as sexual harassment. But what happens if your harasser is also your ex, who works for the same company? Some victims of harassment may wonder whether they can prove that they are being harassed by somebody they previously had a consensual relationship with. While it may not be as easy to prove harassment from a former partner as it is to prove harassment from other individuals in the workplace, it is indeed possible to do so. If you believe that your ex is unlawfully harassing you, contact the Akin Law Group for advice on what to do.
What types of activities are considered sexual harassment?
Activities that might be deemed ‘annoying’ outside of the workplace may be considered sexual harassment in the workplace. Here are some examples of activities that could be the subject of a sexual harassment lawsuit:
- An individual is in a relationship with a supervisor. After the relationship ends, the supervisor terminates or demotes the employee.
- After a relationship ends, one of the former partners continues to pursue the other at the workplace, despite the fact that the individual who is being pursued wants to be left alone.
- Employees perceive that a supervisor plays favorites with his or her significant other. They believe that the sexual favoritism creates an atmosphere that constitutes a hostile work environment.
What you need to do if your former partner is harassing you
The most important thing to do if your ex continues to pursue you in the workplace is to not send out any mixed signals. Make sure that the individual knows that their conduct is unwanted, and be consistent in rejecting their advances. It may be considerably more difficult to prove a sexual harassment claim if your behavior is inconsistent.
If your former partner’s behavior continues after you have made it clear that you wish for it to stop, file a complaint with a supervisor or human resources representative. Your company should respond to your complaint in a timely and appropriate manner.
When should you take legal action?
If your company does not properly respond to your complaint and allows the sexual harassment to continue, you should consider taking legal action. One factor that you should take into account when deciding whether to file a lawsuit is how easy or difficult it will be to prove your claim. Due to the power differential involved, it is easier to prove that harassment occurred when your former partner is also your supervisor. Another factor that makes it easier to prove a claim is if your ex retaliated against you in the form of a tangible employment action such as termination, suspension, or demotion.
Contact the Akin Law Group for additional information
If you are unsure as to whether your situation involves unlawful sexual harassment, contact the Akin Law Group (212) 825-1400 for a Free and Confidential consultation. Our employment lawyers are highly knowledgeable about the legal matters surrounding workplace sexual harassment, and are ready to help you determine the best course of action.