Bridgeport, WV Personal Injury Attorney | Desai Law

West Virginia Sexual Harassment Lawyer

Contact trusted and highly-rated West Virginia sexual harassment lawyers from Desai Law if you or a loved one has suffered sexual harassment in the workplace. 

Chirag Desai and his legal team understand the delicate and sensitive nature of employee sexual harassment cases and are committed to handling your case with the utmost professionalism and the highest level of care. Feel free to check out the testimonials of their West Virginia-based clients or read about their five-star reputation on Google.

As you grapple with the aftermath of the incident and deal with psychological distress, emotional trauma, and physical injuries, you can trust Desai Law to fiercely pursue justice and compensation on your behalf. 

Chirag and his team have won millions worth of settlements and jury verdicts, such as securing $550,000 for sexual harassment against a restaurant chain. While we cannot guarantee a specific outcome for your lawsuit, Desai Law takes pride in its track record of success, even in numerous cases rejected by other lawyers across West Virginia. 

We are committed to vigorously pursuing justice for the “underdogs,” fearlessly taking on disputed claims and contested damages. Our approach is results-driven and dedicated to building the strongest case against those responsible for your injuries.

Why Choose Desai Law

The strength and success of Desai Law come from the positive testimonials provided by satisfied clients in West Virginia. We aim to uphold outstanding service, empathy, and unwavering passion in every case we represent.

Chirag Desai leads the multi-awarded law firm, which earned the Client’s Choice Award in 2018 and 2019 from AVVO. His latest achievement is being acknowledged in the Super Lawyers Rising Stars list from 2020 until 2023.

How Much Do We Charge: We strictly follow a “no fee, unless you win” arrangement, underscoring our commitment to accessible legal representation for everyone. Engaging our services carries no risk since there are no upfront costs. You will only be required to make a payment if we achieve a successful outcome on your behalf. 

Contact Us Now: Unfortunate events can happen unexpectedly, and we are dedicated to providing assistance during moments of crisis. 

Our team is available around the clock, seven days a week, ensuring we are here to answer your call whenever you need support. Don’t hesitate to contact us through our secure and confidential form or call (304) 974-1974 for a free consultation. 

Sexual Harassment in West Virginia

The latest research revealed that West Virginia’s rate of sexual harassment charges is far higher than any other state in the U.S. With 5.12 charges filed per 100,000 residents, the state has beaten the national average, which was around 2.88 charges per 100,000 residents across the country. 

The definition of sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, conduct of a sexual nature and requests for sexual favors. It must explicitly or implicitly affect a person’s employment, unreasonably interfere with work or school performance or create an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or school environment.

Victims include those being harassed, as well as anyone affected by the offensive conduct. 

What Is Considered Sexual Harassment? 

Sexual harassment happens when one person uses sexual words, gestures, looks or touches that may make another person feel uncomfortable or unsafe, according to West Virginia’s Foundation for Rape Information and Services (WV FRIS)

It can include offering academic benefits or employment advancement in exchange for sexual favors or making threats after a negative response to sexual advances. 

Some specific examples of sexual harassment include:

  • Requesting sexual favors
  • Making innuendoes/comments with sexual overtones
  • Describing attributes of a person’s body, clothing or behavior in a sexual manner
  • Telling sexual or sex-based jokes
  • Making sexually suggestive or derogatory gestures
  • Touching or rubbing oneself sexually in view of another person
  • Exposing oneself to another person
  • Impeding or blocking a person’s movement or path
  • Inappropriately touching a person or a person’s clothing

The West Virginia Human Rights Commission said that sexual harassment can occur between persons of the opposite sex or between persons of the same sex. Therefore, the harasser or the victim can be of either sex.

Where Can Sexual Harassment Occur?

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, said that sexual harassment can occur in the workplace or learning environment, like a school or university. 

It can happen in many different scenarios, including after-hours conversations, exchanges in the hallways, and non-office settings of employees or peers.

For workspaces in particular, HR Acuity’s 2023 Workplace Harassment & Misconduct Insights study revealed that over half (52%) of employees have experienced or witnessed inappropriate, unethical or illegal behaviors at work. Among these reports, 40% of their respondents had experienced sexual harassment.

Additionally, of all the workplace settings, the research found that 80% of the misconduct occurred in an in-office environment. Underreporting issues of sexual assault cases are also alarmingly prevalent, with 99.8% of harassed workers choosing not to press charges.

Employer Liability for Sexual Harassment

The employer is automatically liable for harassment by a supervisor that results in a negative employment action such as termination, failure to promote or hire, and loss of wages. However, if the supervisor’s harassment results in a hostile work environment, the employer can avoid liability only if it can prove that: 

  • It reasonably tried to prevent and promptly correct the harassing behavior; and 
  • The employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of any preventive or corrective opportunities provided by the employer.

Meanwhile, for non-supervisory employees or non-employees over whom it has control (e.g., independent contractors or customers on the premises), an employer will be liable if it knew or should have known about the harassment and failed to take prompt and appropriate corrective action.

If you’ve been harassed at your workplace, it’s best to immediately consult with one of our compassionate sexual harassment lawyers at Desai Law so you can seek legal remedies for your case. 

Federal And State Laws Against Sexual Harassment 

West Virginia does not have specific criminal laws addressing sexual harassment in schools and workplaces. However, such misconduct is considered a violation of civil rights under both federal and state discrimination laws in certain situations. 

The applicability of these laws depends on the specific setting, and not all settings are covered. At the federal level, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 defines sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination. This act applies across government offices, businesses with 15 or more employees, employment agencies, and labor organizations.

In West Virginia, WVC §5-11 and Legislative Rule Title 77 provide protection against sexual harassment in schools and colleges. Under this state law, sexual harassment is not limited to unwanted sexual conduct; it may also include hostile or physically aggressive behavior based on gender.

It is crucial for individuals to understand their rights and the legal protections available to them in cases of sexual harassment. While the coverage of these laws is not universal, they provide important avenues for addressing sexual harassment in qualifying settings.

If you or a loved one has suffered from any form of sexual harassment or abuse, it’s best to talk to an experienced attorney to discuss your legal action. 

Call A West Virginia Sexual Harassment Lawyer Now

As seasoned lawyers for sexual harassment in West Virginia, we are prepared to hold wrongdoers accountable. Abusers, and those who enable them, often try to cover up their actions and attempt to avoid liability, but we won’t stop at nothing until you get the justice you deserve. 

Our team of trial attorneys possess the skills to navigate West Virginia’s intricate legal system. You don’t have to suffer in silence. We’ll fearlessly champion your cause and stand with you against powerful defendants — ready to assert your rights and remedies in court. 

At Desai Law, you’ll find not only legal competence but also a commitment to our mission to fight for the little guys. Contact us now by filling out our secure and confidential form or call (304) 974-1974 for a free case evaluation.