Arkansas Harassment Law Firm
The Arkansas employment attorneys at James & Carter PLC advise clients about the proper actions to take to prevent harassment and represent employers and employees in discrimination hearings and lawsuits.
Sexual harassment is considered a form of discrimination. Anti-discriminatory legal protection falls under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Arkansas Civil Rights Act of 1993. The federal law applies to all employers with 15 or more employees and the state law to all employers with nine or more employees.
Legal protection against sexual harassment
Employees have a legal right to be free from discrimination, including harassment of any kind, in the workplace. Employers can benefit from legal advice to help them provide employees with a harassment-free environment.
Many employers communicate strict anti-harassment policies to their employees and provide a grievance system to deal with such charges internally. These actions can help employers prevent sexual harassment in the first place. However, if your company becomes party to a sexual harassment lawsuit, attorneys at James & Carter PLC can advise you.
Initial steps in a harassment complaint
Harassment victims should strongly inform the individual harassing them that the behavior is unwelcome and abusive. If the harassment continues, companies with grievance procedures allow victims to lodge complaints with the employer. Many complaints can be resolved at this stage without filing a formal complaint.with the EEOC.
Filing with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
When company procedures fail to stop harassment, victims may file a charge with the EEOC, the federal agency that enforces anti-discrimination laws. Claimants must file within 180 days of the harassment incident, and the EEOC subsequently investigates the charge to determine probable cause. Under federal law, employees may not pursue a harassment lawsuit unless they have previously filed a complaint with the EEOC and received its permission.
An experienced lawyer can make a difference
Because federal court requires presentation of evidence and strict adherence to rules of practice and procedure, it is in a claimant’s best interests to obtain an attorney for representation. Likewise, companies charged with harassment should select an attorney experienced in such cases.
Frequently, employment attorneys can settle harassment cases prior to filing a lawsuit in federal court. This approach may at times benefit the claimant and the employer as well.
Legal protection under the Arkansas Civil Rights Act
Arkansas has no state equivalent to the federal EEOC filing. However, discrimination victims may sue directly in state courts under the Arkansas Civil Rights Act. If you are being sued in a discrimination case or believe you have a strong complaint against your employer, attorneys at James & Carter PLC skilled in harassment may be able to help.
We welcome the opportunity to be of service. To arrange a consultation to discuss harassment with an Arkansas employment lawyer from our firm, please phone our office at 866.716.3242 or contact James & Carter PLC online through our website.