An Oklahoma judge recently ruled that your past sexual experiences do not affect your right to bring a case for harassment. In a lawsuit against Digicut Systems, a judge determined that a former prostitute – Susan Terry – could bring a case for sexual harassment. Terry, who had previously run a tanning salon that doubled as a brothel, said that her supervisor at Digicut made unwanted and offensive sexual advances toward her.
A main issue in sexual harassment cases is if the person claiming harassment truly feels uncomfortable and offended by the sexual conduct. Each case is different and depends on how the unwelcome conduct makes the specific person claiming harassment feel. Digicut argued that Terry couldn’t feel offended because in the past she had acted “much more sexually inappropriate” than the actions she is suing for.
Terry responded that she had changed her ways since being convicted in 2000 of prostitution, and now was a married woman and a “committed Christian.”
The judge left the decision of whether she felt harassed for a jury to
decide, but stated that a person’s past sexual history should not
determine whether you have a legitimate harassment claim.
Your past sexual choices do not determine if you can bring a case for harassment. Where another person’s sexual advances in the work place make you uncomfortable, and you complain but nothing is done about the conduct, you may be able to bring a lawsuit for harassment.
If you think you have been sexually harassed at work, we may be able to help.