Updated: Mar 20
As sexual harassment lawyers in Maryland, Don Quinn and Alexus Viegas are regularly asked questions about what is and isn’t legal. During complimentary consultations, he helps people understand what the law says and their options. Here are answers to some of the questions he is frequently asked. Remember that this is not legal advice, and every situation is different. Schedule a free phone consultation to find out what your legal options are after being sexually harassed.
Q&A with a Sexual Harassment Lawyer in Maryland
Sexual harassment is serious and should be dealt with immediately. Get answers to frequently asked questions here, then call to speak with an attorney.
Do I have to be touched to be sexually harassed?
No. You don’t have to be physically touched to be sexually harassed. Sexual harassment can include verbal harassment, gestures and even things hung up in the office. Each situation is different, so if you think you may have been harassed but are unsure, it’s best to speak with an employment attorney.
Is sexual harassment a crime that is prosecuted?
That depends on the type of sexual harassment. For example, if someone physically touches you, that could be a crime - depending on the type of touching and where they touched you. If someone threatens you for not giving in to their harassment, that could also be a crime. That being said, a lot of sexual harassment goes unprosecuted. This is why people will typically turn to the civil court system and file a lawsuit with the help of a sexual harassment attorney.
Is my employer liable for sexual harassment that happens on the job?
Employers do have a duty to their employees. However, judges have ruled on cases individually, so there is no clear yes or no to questions about employer liability. You’ll need a lawyer to review your case to determine if the employer is likely to be found liable.
If someone texts me pictures or inappropriate comments, is that sexual harassment?
Sexually charged pictures and statements sent to a cellphone or email can be considered sexual harassment. This question comes up when a boss or coworker harasses people outside of work hours. The short answer is yes - if you are texted off the clock and the message is harassing, that can be sexual harassment.
Can intimidation or bullying be sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment can take on many forms. For some people, it is verbal (in person, via text, or on social media). For others, it involves physical touching. Still, for some, sexual harassment can be bullying and intimidation. Sometimes that will feel like stocking, forcing a person to stay in an isolated environment with the harasser, threatening their job security etc. These situations are incredibly nuanced, so it’s important to tell an employment attorney what happened to see if you have a case.
Do I have to return to work after being sexually harassed in Maryland or DC?
Both Maryland and the District of Columbia have at-will employment laws on the books. That means an employer can fire an employee at any time without cause, and an employee may quit anytime without notice. As an employment law firm, we speak with many people who could not return to work for reasons related to illness, harassment, discrimination, etc., and were still fired. Suppose you were harassed and want to continue working for your company. In that case, it’s important to take proactive steps to alert your employer about what happened and negotiate the safest way to return. The Quinn Law Group can handle these negotiations if you’re more comfortable working through a third party.
Speak with a Sexual Harassment Lawyer
Call 202-508-3644 to schedule a free phone consultation with a sexual harassment lawyer in Maryland. Or, click here to schedule a virtual appointment.
Keep in mind that this blog is for informational purposes only and not legal advice. For that, you need to speak with an attorney. Fortunately, the Quinn Law Group offers free consultations.