Having practiced law long enough in Connecticut’s “Gold Coast” suburban towns and communities which are populated with hedge funds and Fortune 500 companies, the best Greenwich, Stamford and Westport Connecticut sexual harassment attorneys and lawyers frequently see hedge fund and finance executives get away with egregious acts of sexual harassment and abuse. Regardless of whether the corporate or hedge fund bosses are having affairs with their subordinates or support staff, making offensive and sexually suggestive comments around the office, or sending sexually inappropriate emails and texts, there is clearly a growing sense of entitlement and rules-don’t-apply-to-me attitudes festering among both male and female executives in many Stamford, Greenwich, Westport, and Darien Connecticut private and public companies, including hedge funds and private equity funds.
But can a low-level employee really take a powerful Connecticut hedge fund or corporate executive to task for sexual harassment? Absolutely. Keep reading to learn more about your rights and what you can do stop feeling victimized and violated…
What Exactly Is “Sexual Harassment” in Connecticut?
Top Connecticut sexual harassment labor lawyers know that it’s important for their clients to understand exactly what type of conduct qualifies as “sexual harassment” under Connecticut state and federal laws. Typically, and as the best Stamford and Greenwich Connecticut sexual harassment attorneys and lawyers would agree, sexual harassment means unwanted sexual advances made against you by your co-worker or supervisor, which can be physical, verbal or electronic. To constitute sexual harassment in Connecticut, however, these advances and communications must also either (1) be followed by an adverse employment action (such as a firing, demotion or pay cut), or (2) be so hostile, intimidating or offensive that you cannot possibly perform your job responsibilities (known in Connecticut as a “hostile work environment”). This Connecticut definition of sexual harassment can initially be very much subjective, meaning that it is based upon how you react and feel as the target of the advances; however, at some point, a reasonableness standard is applied by the courts. Follow this link for a much more in-depth discussion of Connecticut sexual harassment laws and what’s involved in suing your Connecticut boss or employer for sexual harassment.
One Inappropriate Comment or Joke Is Not Enough to Qualify as Sexual Harassment
Top Stamford and Greenwich Connecticut sexual harassment lawyers are frequently asked whether one isolated incident of sexual harassment can give an employee grounds for a lawsuit. Usually, it doesn’t. Typically, one sexually suggestive comment at a Christmas party, inappropriate email, or sexual advance (i.e. asking an employee out on a date) is not enough to sue for sexual harassment in Connecticut. The harassment must be pervasive and material enough to interfere with your ability to do your job, especially if you have not suffered any adverse employment action. This is a hard concept for many victims of sexual harassment to grasp, especially if they have been humiliated—even just in one instance—in front of their coworkers. That’s why you should consult with a top Connecticut sexual harassment attorney lawyer to assess the strength or your Connecticut sexual harassment case. If your employer or boss has a lot of money, then you can be sure they and the company will defend themselves (and their respective bank accounts) with vigor and vindictiveness, hiring lawyers to intimidate you or pressure you to drop your accusations of sexual harassment against your Connecticut hedge fund or corporate employer. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t let the Connecticut sexual harassment get swept under the rug. By consulting with and hiring a top Connecticut sexual harassment lawyer, you can take the first steps in ensuring accountability against your employer, and hopefully further ensure that no one else will have to suffer the same feelings of humiliation and violation as you did.
Sexually Harassed in Connecticut? Call A Lawyer, then Call Human Resources
Perhaps the second most important step to take after being sexually harassed at work in Connecticut (after calling a top Connecticut labor lawyer with sexual harassment experience) is to report the sexual harassment to your Human Resources department. Most importantly, and as any of the best Greenwich Connecticut sexual harassment lawyers would tell you…report it in writing to Human Resources (“HR”)—in a signed letter, or in an email—and keep a copy of the report, and any responses thereto, for your records. In fact, keep a copy of everything you can related to the sexual harassment or your reporting of it to your employer. Save all emails, text messages, photos, Facebook messages, and any other social media communications that made you feel uncomfortable. If you do not know exactly to whom you should report the Connecticut sexual harassment, check your employee handbook’s anti-harassment policy, as reputable companies and employers will have their anti-harassment procedures and protocols adequately spelled out in their employee handbook. If there is no handbook, or if you’re still unsure, then deliver your complaint directly to the owner of the company.
If the Harassment is Physically Threatening or Feels Like Stalking, Call the Police
Finally, some of the most frightening examples of sexual harassment can sometimes be criminal, such as drunk bosses who physically force themselves on employees, grope them, or stalk them. Top Wilton, Fairfield and Westport Connecticut sexual harassment lawyers and attorneys have seen this with bosses who may have an alcohol or drug addiction problem and who lose all sense of control and professionalism. In these cases, you should not only report the abuse and sexual harassment to HR, but you should also call the police. While calling 911 against your boss or employer is certainly awkward, you may very well be the victim of a sex crime. And if this is the case, then there are laws (even criminal laws) which prohibit your boss from retaliating against you (by firing you) for filing the report with the police, so do not be afraid of being retaliating against for calling the Connecticut police to report a sexual assault perpetrated against you by your boss or coworker. (Click here to learn more about sex crimes in Connecticut).
Contact a Connecticut Sexual Harassment Lawyer Today
The Connecticut sexual harassment lawyers and attorneys at Mark Sherman Law are not afraid to stand up for the rights of Connecticut sexual harassment victims, even if we have to go after the most powerful hedge funds, executives or corporations in Connecticut. We have successfully prosecuted and gone after some of the biggest hedge funds and companies in Connecticut. So if you have been sexually harassed at work in Stamford, Greenwich, Darien, Wilton, New Canaan or Westport Connecticut, or anywhere else in Connecticut, then contact a sexual harassment lawyer at Mark Sherman Law today. We will give you an honest assessment of your case, walk you through the strengths and weaknesses of your case, and discuss your options in moving forward. Our priority is results: holding your employer accountable for the misconduct, cleaning the culture of sexual harassment and humiliation at your office, and getting you the most money for your pain and suffering. So call us today for a consultation at (203) 358-4700.