A Law Firm Representing the Rights of Employees and the Victims of Wrongful Injury

Sexual Harassment

Hostile environment sexual harassment involves unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which unreasonably interfere with an individual's work performance or create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment. Sexual harassment can be from a member of the opposite sex or the same sex.

Sexual harassment is prohibited under both the West Virginia Human Rights Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. There are two main kinds of sexual harassment. Quid pro quo sexual harassment generally involves conditioning employment, promotion, or other terms or conditions of employment on the receipt of sexual favors.  Hostile environment sexual harassment involves unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which unreasonably interfere with an individual's work performance or create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.  Sexual harassment can be from a member of the opposite sex or the same sex.

Some leading cases from the United States Supreme Court include: Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson (explaining the types of sexual harassment), Faragher v. City of Boca Raton (deciding a number of issues including the employees duty, under federal law, to follow the company's sexual harassment policy), and Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc. (same gender sexual harassment).

On some of these issues, West Virginia law may vary from federal law. Some leading West Virginia cases include: Akers v. Cabell Huntington Hospital, Inc. (deciding a number of issues in a sexual harassment case) and Willis v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc (same gender sexual harassment).