• (303) 876-0575

Harassing or hostile actions by one employee toward another which are unwelcome and cause the employee to have difficulty performing his or her work may violate federal and state law if the harassment or hostility is based on the employee’s protected status. If you are being “bullied” at work because of your age, gender, sexual orientation, race or color, national origin, disability, or veteran status, you may have an actionable legal claim for hostile work environment. In order for bullying to be considered illegal, the harassment or hostility must be unwelcome and objectively offensive. The conduct must be severe an pervasive – a one-time stray offensive remark does not create a hostile work environment in the eyes of the law. In order to prove a claim for hostile work environment, the employee must object to or report the unwelcome conduct so that others in the workplace are aware of the behavior and the employer has an opportunity to fix the problem. Finally, there must be evidence that the harassment or hostility actually interfered with the employee’s ability to do his or her work. There is a wide variety of conduct that may be considered offensive, such as assaulting or threatening to assault someone, mocking or ridiculing, insulting or putting someone down, displaying offensive pictures or objects, or actively interfering with the employee’s work performance. If you believe you are the victim of illegal harassment or an illegal hostile working environment CONTACT US to schedule a consultation with Ms. Smith to discuss your rights, options, and potential representation.

 

Sexual Harassment/Hostile Work Environment: While sexual harassment and gender based hostile work environment affects women on a greater scale – an estimated one in four women has experienced harassment at work – both females and males can be a victim of sex-based harassment. Sexual harassment can be inflicted by members of the same gender (for example, women harassing women on the basis of gender, or men harassing men on the basis of gender). Sexual harassment is a form of sex or gender discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA). In severe cases of sexual harassment victims may assert common law claims under Colorado law including claims for assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent hiring and supervision. Some examples of sexual harassment include:

  • Comments about your clothing, personal behavior or body, sexual or sexually based jokes, requesting sexual favors, repeatedly asking you out, sexual innuendos, spreading rumors about your sexual life, or threatening you
  • Rape or assault, impeding or blocking your movement, inappropriate touching of your body or clothing, kissing, hugging, patting or stroking
  • Leering at you, derogatory gestures or facial expressions of a sexual nature, following you, or stalking you
  • Visual displays such as posters, drawings, pictures, screensavers, text messages or e-mails of a sexual nature
  • Graphic discussions of one’s sexual prowess or sex life

In order for a plaintiff to prove that he or she was subjected to sexually hostile work environment, there must be evidence that the conduct complained of was unwelcome, offensive, and directed at the plaintiff because of his or her gender. There also must be evidence that the conduct complained of must severe and pervasive enough to alter the conditions of the plaintiff’s working environment. Finally, there must be evidence that the employer knew or should have known that about the offending conduct and failed to respond in a meaningful manner. The employer in some cases can avoid liability for sexual harassment if it can prove that the employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of the employer’s preventative and corrective policies.  

Victims of sexual harassment can and should take steps to protect their legal rights. Such steps include gathering any evidence of the harassment; maintain records of good work performance, and reporting the harassment to the employer in keeping with any written protocols and policies. Although sexual harassment in the workplace is not uncommon, few victims come forward because of fear of retaliation, embarrassment or “blaming the victim.” Many victims of sexual harassment chose to constructively discharge or resign rather than stand up to the employer. More often than not, choosing to “constructively discharge” may compromise your ability to prove that you were in fact sexually harassed in the eyes of the law.

Ms. Smith is a fierce advocate when it comes to protecting women’s rights to a workplace that is free from sexual harassment. She has assisted women in a wide variety of workplace settings (from teenagers in part-time low wage positions to executives in high compensation positions) fight to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace and/or secure monetary rewards as victims of the harassment. Ms. Smith has represented many clients in sexual harassment matters before the EEOC, the CCRD and in state and federal courts. If you feel you are bring sexually harassed or have been sexually harassed in the workplace CONTACT US to speak directly with Ms. Smith to schedule an initial consultation. During the initial consultation, Ms. Smith will advise you of your legal rights and options and will discuss potential legal representation.

Downtown:
1624 Market Street, Suite 202
Denver, CO, 80202

Tel (303) 876-0575
Silverthorne:
56 Road L, P.O. Box 601
Silverthorne, CO, 80498

Tel (303) 876-0575

Additional offices for meetings available in:
Boulder; Broomfield/Interlocken; Cherry Creek; Aurora; Downtown Denver; Denver Tech Center; Golden/ Lakewood; Littleton; Louisville and Park Meadows/Highlands Ranch

Disclaimer: Nothing in this website is intended in any way to form an attorney-client relationship or other contract. It is designed solely to provide general information about the practice at the Law Offices of Elizabeth “Booka” Smith. Be mindful of any deadlines you have approaching that relate to your legal situation, and make sure you meet them. The Law Offices of Elizabeth “Booka” Smith does not assume any responsibility for advice given regarding any aspect of your case until you have a signed legal services agreement engaging the firm’s representation. Though the Law Offices of Elizabeth “Booka” Smith may provide a free initial consultation, the firm retains complete discretion in every case to decide whether or not to take your case. The Law Offices of Elizabeth “Booka” Smith makes no guarantees, warranties, or predictions about your case, and past success of Booka Smith or the firm does not ensure the results will be the same.