Personal Injury – Sexual Harassment at Work

Victims of sexual abuse or sexual assault can file a lawsuit in civil court against the guilty party, and in a few instances, additional parties. If you’ve been a sexual harassment victim in the workplace, then you may be eligible for compensation.

But before proceeding to any other topic, let us discuss first what Sexual Harassment is. Personal Injury: Sexual Harassment at Work by HG.org has this information.

Sexual harassment is defined as any form of unwelcome sexual acts or comments. Not only can it cause victims emotional stress, but it is also against the law. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, it is unlawful to harass an employee or employer regarding their sex. It is also illegal to request sexual favors or make comments of a sexual nature.

The victim could be a man or a woman as can be the harasser. What makes harassment different from light hearted teasing is that is occurs consistently and is offensive to the victim. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 classifies sexual harassment as a type of employee discrimination. Any company or government agency with fifteen or more employees is responsible for enforcing this law as well as preventing discrimination from happening in the workplace.

How Much Can You Get for A Sexual Harassment Lawsuit?

If you’ve been a sexual harassment victim in the workplace, then you may be permitted to receive compensation. You can have a sexual harassment claim if you have been exposed to unwanted sexual advances, actions or comments of sexual nature, as well as offensive comments regarding your gender or sex at work.

If you’re successful in the sexual harassment lawsuit, the amount you can receive in monetary compensation (known as damages) varies according to what sort of injury you have sustained as a result of the sexual harassment. A few types of damages, such as front pay and back pay, are intended to repay you for income you lost due to being sexually harassed.

The halls of the court.

And other types of damages are meant to repay you for the mental or emotional upset owing to the harassment (known as pain and suffering) or to penalize your employer for being unable to prevent the harassment (known as punitive damages).

If you are a victim of such terrible deed, there are actions (formal and informal) you can do assuage the problem. Sexual Harassment: Actions You Can Take by FindLaw has the details. Here are a few thing you can do:

Follow Your Employer’s Procedure

What if the offensive conduct doesn’t stop, or the harasser tells you he or she doesn’t care what you say? Some companies have a detailed procedure for handling sexual harassment claims. If your company has such a procedure, you should follow it to the letter, taking note of any time limits set out in that policy. For example, many employer policies will designate someone to whom harassment must be reported, so if your company has designated certain staff as being responsible for receiving sexual harassment complaints, that is where you should start.

Litigation

If the appropriate governmental agency issues a “right to sue” letter, you may bring a civil lawsuit for any injuries you suffered due to the sexual harassment. You do not need to show physical injuries. The most common injuries in a sexual harassment case are the emotional injuries suffered by the victim.

If you’re successful in the sexual harassment claim you filed, the amount of money you can receive in monetary compensation varies according to what sort of injury you have suffered due to the sexual harassment. How Much Can I Get for My Sexual Harassment Lawsuit? By Nolo has the info.

Back Pay

If you were denied a raise, refused a promotion, or fired as a result of sexual harassment, you may be entitled to back pay. Back pay is the wages, benefits, and other compensation you would have earned from the time of the negative employment decision up to the date of a jury award (called a “judgment”).

Front Pay

Under federal law, if you lost your job or had to quit because of sexual harassment, you may have the right to return you to your former position (this is called “reinstatement”). However, often times reinstatement is impossible or impractical. For example, the position may not be available anymore, or your working relationship with your former employer may have become too hostile for you to return. If this is the case, you may be eligible for an award of front pay instead of reinstatement.

Gavel and American flag, symbol for jurisdiction

Back Pay

If you were refused a promotion, denied an income raise, or fired due to sexual harassment, then you may be eligible for a back pay. By definition, back pay is the income, benefits, as well as other compensation you would’ve received from the time of the decision of the negative employment up to the judgment. Back pay takes in:

  • salary, including any income raises you should’ve received
  • tips, commissions, or bonuses
  • the value of benefits, like life insurance or health insurance
  • sick or vacation pay
  • pension or retirement benefits, and
  • profit sharing or stock options.

Front Pay

Under the federal law, if you needed to quit or lost your job due to sexual harassment, then you may be entitled to return to your previous position (reinstatement). On the other hand, frequently reinstatement is impractical or impossible.

For instance, the position isn’t available any longer, or your work relationship with your previous employer can become too unfriendly for you to come back. If this is the situation, then you may be qualified for a front pay award rather than reinstatement. Front pay is meant to repay you for any lost wages you’re likely to sustain from the judgment date to the future.

To decide how far into your future you will get front pay, the court will consider the following:

  • your age
  • the period it may take you to locate the same job with another employer
  • the period you were at your former job, and
  • the period in which other employees in the same positions work.

Punitive and Compensatory Damages

Regardless of whether or not you have lost wages, you could be entitled to receive punitive damages or compensatory damages. Compensatory damages take in payment for your emotional pain, any damage to your repute, as well as any out-of-pocket expenses caused by the sexual harassment, like medical charges and costs for job search.

Also, the court may award punitive damages to penalize the employer for bad behaviour. Such damages are offered if your employer knew of the harassment but did not take steps to fix the situation. In general, this indicates that human resources or somebody in the upper administration knew of the event yet failed to take measures about it, even with knowing that sexual harassment is illegal under the law.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Overview on Assault and Battery Cases

What are assault and battery? These are words that are commonly used together and often misunderstood. In this post, we will discuss the subject thoroughly so you will get a good understanding of assault and battery.

So keep reading…

Definition of Assault

The term “assault” differs in definition from state-to-state, but it is frequently defined as an attempt to harm somebody else and can take the form of threats or threatening actions against others.

A common definition is a deliberate attempt, using force or violence, to harm or injure another person. Occasionally another direct way that assault is termed is “attempted battery.” Certainly, in general, the main difference between assault and battery is that contact is not necessary for assault to occur, whereas an illegal or offensive contact must take place for the battery.

Act Requirement

Even if contact is not necessary for assault to happen, an assault conviction still involves a criminal “act.” The forms of acts that belong to the assault category can vary widely, but normally an assault entails a direct or overt act that would place the reasonable individual in fear for his or her safety.

And spoken words alone won’t be sufficient of an act to make up an assault unless the defendant furthers them with actions that place the plaintiff in reasonable fear of future harm.

assault and battery

medical practitioner assaulting a senior citizen

Intent Requirement

To commit an assault, a person only needs “general intent.” Meaning, although somebody cannot unintentionally assault another individual, it is sufficient to demonstrate that a defendant intended the actions which constitute an assault.

Thus, if a person acts in a manner that’s deemed as dangerous to other individuals that can be sufficient to support the assault charges, even though they did not intend a specific harm to a specific person. Additionally, intent to frighten or scare another individual can be sufficient to establish the assault charges too.

Assault and battery are closely related legal terms but have different kinds of claims in civil cases. Let us take a look at Assault and Battery Overview by Find Law. The article provides a more comprehensive look at both offenses as well as their elements, which aids to explain how both offenses are closely tied together. Here it is:

“Assault: Definition

“The definitions for assault vary from state-to-state, but assault is often defined as an attempt to injure to someone else, and in some circumstances can include threats or threatening behavior against others. One common definition would be an intentional attempt, using violence or force, to injure or harm another person. Another straightforward way that assault is sometimes defined is as an attempted battery. Indeed, generally the main distinction between an assault and a battery is that no contact is necessary for an assault, whereas an offensive or illegal contact must occur for a battery.

“Battery: Definition

“Although the statutes defining battery will vary by jurisdiction, a typical definition for battery is the intentional offensive or harmful touching of another person without their consent. Under this general definition, a battery offense requires all of the following:

  • intentional touching;
  • the touching must be harmful or offensive;
  • no consent from the victim.”

Definition of Battery

Though the statutes that define battery will differ by jurisdiction, a classic battery definition is the intentional harmful or offensive touching of another individual without their consent. And under this definition, a battery offense involves the following:

  • deliberate touching;
  • the touching should be offensive or harmful;
  • nonconsensual from the victim.

Intent Requirement

It may be surprising that a battery usually doesn’t involve any intent to injure the victim (though such intent frequently exists in battery lawsuits). Instead, an individual only needs intent to cause contact or contact with a person.

In addition to that, if somebody acts in a negligent or criminally reckless manner that causes such contact, it could make up an assault. Therefore, accidentally bumping into somebody, offensive as the injured party might think it to be, wouldn’t make up a battery.

assault victim

Act Requirement

The criminal act necessary for battery comes down to a harmful or offensive contact. This act can range from the apparent battery where a bodily attack (kick or punch) is involved, to even slight contact in a few cases. In general, a victim doesn’t have to be harmed or injured for a battery to have taken place, providing an offensive contact took place.

In a common case, spitting on a person does not physically harm them, but it, however, can make up offensive contact enough for a battery. Whether a specific contact is deemed as offensive is typically assessed from the viewpoint of the “ordinary individual.”

Personal Injury Claims for Assault and Battery by All Law offers us more information regarding the difference between Offensive and Harmful Contact, which is key consideration in a claim. Here’s an excerpt:

“The contact is “harmful” if it in any way alters the physical condition or structure of the plaintiff’s body, even if it does not cause pain. For example, if the defendant grabs the plaintiff’s arm or shoves him, but does not actually cause the plaintiff any pain, the plaintiff may still sue for battery. However, a “harmful” contact could also be something more serious, for example putting a dangerous substance in food that the plaintiff subsequently eats.

“An “offensive” contact is one that is offensive to a reasonable sense of personal dignity. “Dignity” in this legal sense is a broad phrase encompassing other emotions such as insult, fright, disgust, embarrassment or humiliation. Whether a plaintiff was reacting reasonably when he or she experienced any of these emotions as a result of the defendant’s contact is typically a question for the judge or jury.”

Assault and Battery as Personal Injury Claims by Nolo even further offers us more info about defenses in assault and battery cases. Here are examples from the article:

“Consent. A defendant might say that the victim agreed to the possibility of being hurt. This defense arises most often in intentional tort lawsuits in cases involving contact sports, paintball-style games, and similar activities. A plaintiff who files a lawsuit in these cases may have a hard time winning if he or she consented to certain physical contact — getting hit in a game of football, for example — even if the contact ended up causing harm.

“Privilege. A police officer who used force while arresting someone might try to assert the defense of privilege. For example, if a police officer injured someone while making an arrest, a lawsuit for assault and battery probably won’t be successful as long as the officer used a reasonable and appropriate amount of physical force while making the arrest.”

Learn more about assault and battery as well as their elements in autoaccidentattorneysanantonio.org.

 

Your Family and the Law – Marriage

Marriage is a contract, but not an ordinary one. Because of the importance of the family, society sets rules and imposes duties and obligations that usually do not apply to purely private agreements.

A marriage is valid everywhere if valid in the state where it takes place. Each state sets its own rules, which usually include a license, a blood test, a waiting period, and a ceremony performed by a clergyman or judge.

Some marriages are prohibited because of blood relationship, age, prior marriage, or physical or mental incapacity.

Annulments

Marriages that do not conform to the rules are not automatically void. Unless incestuous or bigamous, a marriage will be valid unless one or both parties takes legal action and has it annulled within a reasonable time.

If an underage person marries, the child’s parents can have the marriage annulled. Annulments may also be obtained on grounds of fraud if, for example, one party expressed a desire for children knowing that he or she could not or would not have any.

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Common Law Marriage

Newspapers often use the term “common-law marriage” to refer to the state of any couple living together; such use of the phrase is not accurate. A common law marriage is an agreement to marry and live together as man and wife without going through a ceremony.

In states where they are permitted, common law marriages are exactly the same, legally, as any other marriage. The difficulty lies in proving the agreement and the intention of the parties, especially if one or both is dead and there is a dispute over inheritance.

Most states no longer recognize common law marriages. However, they will recognize a common law marriage that was valid at the time it was entered into, or one made in a state that does recognize them.

The legal court

Gavel and american flag, symbol for jurisdiction

Changing a Name

A married woman often wants to continue using her maiden name; she may, for example, have established a useful professional reputation under that name. Using a maiden name is perfectly legal. In fact, anyone can use any name he or she wants, so long as there is no intent to defraud.

You could not, for example, use the name of a well-known person in order to borrow money. Getting a court order to change your name makes it official, but it is not necessary.

State laws. Some states do require women to use their married names or driver’s licenses or other documents. The state can do this, as it is responsible for public records. In these states, a woman must either comply or go to court and have her name officially changed.

Updating Records

Most women do take their husband’s names. Those women should immediately notify the Social Security Administration to avoid any possible confusion in the records, as well as employers, insurance companies, department stores where they have charge accounts, and anyone else whose records should be changed.

All About Civil Law

As a preliminary to discussing the civil law, it is once more necessary, to begin with distinctions of terminology. The phrase “civil law” is used in English in two senses. In the first, it is contrasted with “criminal” or “penal” law to denote the law that governs all the relations of citizens to each other except those which involve punishment of offenders.

In order to avoid confusion, “civil law” in this sense will be written without capitals. In the other sense, civil law is a system derived from the law of Rome. In the technical sense of this system, the words will be capitalized.

This technical sense is derived from the phrase Corpus juris civilis (“The Body of the Civil Law”), which in the early seventeenth century was applied to the compilation of the Byzantine emperor Justinian, published in A.D. 528 – 534.

civil law

Law books – the symbols of law.

The modern Civil Law is founded on this compilation although it has been subjected to other influences as well and has been substantially modified by them.

The jurisdiction in which Civil Law is the foundation of the legal system are the following:

Europe: Scotland and all the countries of the Continent except Soviet Russia.

North America: Mexico and Central America; Quebec in Canada; and Louisiana in the United States.

South America: All Countries.

Africa: South Africa; Morocco; Tunisia; Algeria (where, however, many sections and groups live under native law), and Egypt, where family and land law is of local origin and has close contact with Islamic religious law.

Asia: Turkey, except for family law and inheritance; and China and Japan, where modern codes have been established in which Civil Law has been blended with ideas of native origin.

Further, in many islands colonized and ruled by Europeans. Civil Law codes have been set up. In Indonesia, the Dutch form of Civil Law exists side by side with the native legal customs, called Adat law.

The compilation of Justinian was the final attempt at codifying the Roman law, which had had a continuous history in Western Europe from the time when Rome was a small city-state on the Tiber to the last flare-up of imperial authority in the sixth century of the Christian Era.

It is necessary to deal with the Roman law separately from the Civil Law, although when the latter was established in the West it was declared to be a continuation of the former.