I Broke Up with My Supervisor But He Keeps Bothering Me. Can I Sue?
Although many companies have some type of non-fraternization policy that prohibits personal relationships among employees, workplace romances are extremely common. It is easy to understand how you could develop more than a business relationship with someone with whom you work closely day in and day out over a long period of time. Whether or not you are violating a company policy is only one possible problem if you do enter into a personal relationship with someone from work. The other problems often begin when the relationship ends. At that point, you could find yourself saying “I broke up with my supervisor but he keeps bothering me. Can I sue.” Although there is no simple answer to that question, as it depends heavily on the individual facts and circumstances, it may be helpful to have a basic understanding of what is considered to be prohibited conduct under state and/or federal sexual harassment laws. Ultimately, however, you should consult with an experienced Pennsylvania employment law attorney to determine if you have the basis of a sexual harassment lawsuit.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits several types of discrimination in the workplace, including sex discrimination. Over the years, the courts have interpreted the prohibition against sex discrimination found in Title VII to include sexual harassment in the workplace. For conduct to be consider sexual harassment it must fall into one of two categories:
- The conduct is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment
- The conduct results in an adverse employment decision, such as being fired or demoted.
In addition to Title VII, you may also be protected by the Pennsylvania Human Relations ACT, or PHRA. For the most part, the PHRA mirrors the protections found in Title VII with regard to prohibited conduct in the workplace. One of the primary differences between the state and federal laws is that Title VII only applies to employers that employ more than 15 employees whereas the PHRA covers employers with four or more employees.
If your supervisor is harassing you at work, and his/her conduct is creating a hostile or offensive work environment there is a good chance you do have the basis for a sexual harassment lawsuit that could be brought in state and/or federal court. Employment discrimination lawsuits are complicated, however, because you may be required to file a complaint with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, or EEOC, before you are allowed to pursue a lawsuit in state or federal court. For this, and many other reasons, it is always best to allow an experienced Pennsylvania employment law attorney review the facts and circumstances of your potential case to determine how best to proceed.
If you recently ended a romantic relationship with a supervisor and he/she is now harassing you at work, contact an experienced Conshohocken, Pennsylvania employment law attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options. Contact the employment law attorneys at Curley & Rothman, LLC by calling 610-834-8819 today to schedule your free consultation.