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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on Mar 10, 2015

Celebrities are often targets for scandal and often, the biggest and most beloved stars are proven to be guilty of despicable acts. This remains an ongoing issue for the majority of us who don’t live our lives in the limelight.  As modern culture evolves and the landscape of the workplace changes along with it, our awareness of sexual harassment and how it affects our community evolves as well.

What does the law say?

It is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person’s sex. Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature

Inappropriate comments, unwanted touching or advances, or even explicit e-mails can all constitute sexual harassment. Arizona law states that in order for advances to be considered sexual harassment, there must be evidence that the advances were unwanted. This means that if someone is acting inappropriately around you at work, it is your responsibility either to let him or her know or to inform your supervisor that the behavior is unwanted and needs to stop. This, of course, can become tricky if your supervisor is the offender in question. In these cases, your best recourse may be to seek legal aid from an attorney who specializes in sexual harassment cases.

Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).

Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person’s sex. For example, it is illegal to harass a woman by making offensive comments about women in general.

Although it’s easy and common to decide to wait and see what happens with sexual harassment cases, if you’re serious about filing a complaint, it is not advisable to wait.  Sexual harassment claims with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Arizona Civil Rights Division have a 180-day statute of limitations, and depending on specific details of your case, you may have other deadlines.  It’s important to file the claim as soon as you’ve decided to do so.