Can I sue my employer for giving a co-worker preferential treatment in exchange for sexual favors?
UPDATED: February 7, 2020
It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.
We strive to help you make confident law decisions. Finding trusted and reliable legal advice should be easy. This doesn't influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
Yes, you can sue your employer for giving a co-worker preferential treatment in exchange for sexual favors. You will need to file a civil lawsuit, and when you do, be sure to name the company and offending individuals. You may be able to recover damages from two entities instead of one. You will only be able to recover damages from the parties who engaged in the inappropriate behavior. Keep in mind that it's possible the company may not be held accountable for the employees’ wrongful actions in the civil suit.
Sexal Harassment and Hostile Work Environment
Treating one worker better than another because the first has performed sexual favors constitutes sexual harassment. People who have engaged in these actions are said to have created a hostile work environment. There are local, state, and federal laws against giving workers preferential treatment for sexual favors. Consider talking with a civil law attorney to determine the court in which you should file a lawsuit. Often, before you file a lawsuit, the law requires that you file a complaint about the problem with an administrative agency of your local, state, or federal government. This provides the government with an opportunity to correct the problem.
Proving a Hostile Work Environment
If you choose to sue your employer, you will need to show how the hostile work environment affected you. Did other peoples’ actions alter your work performance, or cause you to get a lower salary? How can you prove this? You may need to get your file and the files of the offending individuals from your company’s human resources department. This may require you to serve a subpoena to your employer.
When you sue for monetary damages, be prepared to show the court the amount of money that you forwent. Gather up physical evidence, such as emails, objects, and audio recordings. Finally, make sure that you start keeping a journal on the whole affair. A journal will help you organize the paperwork. It will also help you remember the relevant events that created the hostile work environment.
Getting Legal Help
If you are experiencing a hostile work environment in your workplace due to sexual harassment or if you feel a co-worker is being given advantages in exchange for performing sexual favors for a boss, you should contact an attorney in your area who can help you file a civil lawsuit.