| Read Time: 3 minutes | Sexual Harassment

Critical state and federal regulations protect Grand Canyon State personnel from workplace sexual harassment. You may wonder, What laws protect employees from sexual harassment in Arizona? Keep reading to learn about these pertinent regulations, an employer’s responsibility to follow them, and how to file a sexual harassment claim.

What Are Federal Laws That Protect from Sexual Harassment?

The cornerstone federal law protecting employees from sexual harassment is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on sex and includes protection from sexual harassment. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces these federal laws. The agency defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. Harassment is also illegal when it creates a hostile work environment or results in an adverse employment decision. Moreover, Title VII prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for asserting their rights to be free from sexual harassment or for filing a sexual harassment claim.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 amended Title VII to prohibit discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. The act covers issues related to sexual harassment based on pregnancy.

What Laws Protect Employees from Sexual Harassment in Arizona?

On a state level, Arizona follows the federal standards set by Title VII but also has laws that protect employees from sexual harassment. The Arizona Civil Rights Act (ACRA) mirrors federal law and prohibits sexual harassment in employment. The ACRA applies to employers with 15 or more employees and is enforced by the Arizona Attorney General’s Civil Rights Division. Furthermore, Arizona has taken steps to extend protections to more workers. These extended protections include employees in smaller businesses with a lower employee threshold than federal laws require, thus widening the scope of protection to a more significant portion of the workforce.

What Is an Employer’s Responsibility to Protect Employees from Harassment?

Arizona employers must take reasonable care to prevent and promptly correct harassing behavior. Responsible care includes creating and enforcing policies against sexual harassment, training employees and managers, and establishing clear procedures for victims to report harassment without fear of retaliation.

If an employer knows about harassment and fails to take appropriate action to stop it, they can be held liable in court. Additionally, if an employer’s negligence leads to an employee’s exposure to a hostile work environment, that employer may face severe legal consequences.

How Do I Report and File a Claim?

If you are experiencing workplace sexual harassment, you should document the harassment and, if possible, gather any emails, witness testimonies, or other documentation related to the harassment. If you are comfortable doing so and able, report the harassment to your employer according to your company’s policies and allow them to remedy the issue. It is also a good idea to seek legal counsel to understand the nuances of your situation and the best course of action before filing any claims. A skilled attorney at Shields Petitti & Zoldan, PLC can review your case and help you decide on the best course of action, including negotiating with your lawyer, filing a complaint, or filing a lawsuit.

Employees who are victims of sexual harassment can also file a claim with the EEOC or with the Civil Rights Division of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. Remember that it is essential to act promptly, as Arizona and federal laws place time limits on filing these claims—known as the ‘statute of limitations’—of 180 days for EEOC and 300 days for ACRA claims. Our attorneys can advise you regarding these limitations and ensure you file your claim correctly and within the correct period.

Contact Shields Petitti & Zoldan, PLC Today

Remember, you do not have to face workplace sexual harassment alone. With over five decades of combined legal experience, Shields Petitti & Zoldan, PLC is Phoenix’s premier plaintiff employment law firm. Our attorneys are renowned for their integrity and adeptness in advocating for employees targeted by sexual harassment. With an unwavering commitment to ethical standards and unparalleled dedication to client advocacy, we have established ourselves as leaders in harassment advocacy and employment law. We are not afraid to go to court to secure justice and have recovered nearly $25,000,000 in settlements, ensuring our clients receive the compensation they deserve. Reach out today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward achieving a just resolution.

Author Photo

Attorney Michael Zoldan provides legal counsel to individuals and small businesses throughout Arizona. Mr. Zoldan’s practice is based on aggressive and detail-oriented representation, focusing on employment discrimination, wage and hour disputes, harassment, and wrongful termination. Prior to forming Shields Petitti & Zoldan, Mr. Zoldan worked for numerous law firms where he had an opportunity to hone his litigation skills by working on multiple litigation cases at a time with some of the most skilled litigators in the state.

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