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North Idaho Sexual Harassment: What Are Your Rights?

Dec 31, 2007
Harassment laws, though there are several federal laws in place that protect your rights nationally, can vary by state.

Definitions of criminal harassment, for example, may have slight variations state-to-state. This article focuses specifically on the laws in Idaho, especially the "panhandle" area of North Idaho which is often viewed as a separate area than the lower section of Idaho.

Before going any further, the first thing you should always do when you believe that harassment has taken place is to report it, preferably to a lawyer that specializes in this type of prosecution. This is especially true if the crime takes place at work, and you worry that reporting it to your superiors will result in little or no action, or put your employment at risk.

If you live in North Idaho, then obviously you'll want to get a North Idaho lawyer that specializes in sexual harassment law.

Idaho Sexual Harassment Laws

As in all states, in Idaho workplace discrimination based on race, creed, sex, or disability is illegal. Furthermore, in Idaho it is also illegal to discriminate based on sexual preference.

In highly conservative areas (such as North Idaho) where homosexuality is considered taboo or otherwise unacceptable, those who are gay will often try to hide the fact out of fear for their jobs. And if word ever gets out, persecution can explode as ignorant coworkers play pranks, make comments, or harass in other ways as a method of making the workplace so miserable that the target of the attacks can no longer stand to work there.

The same can happen when women enter a male-dominated workforce (or vice versa), or even when a conservative straight man takes on a job at a gay-friendly company. What many people don't realize is that what can seem at first to be discrimination against a disabled person can also be construed as sexual harassment if the discrimination involves any kind of sexual connotation (for example, coworkers wondering out loud how a disabled person "does it" or the use of crutches in sexual acts, and so forth).

In any case, sexual harassment happens when any type of unwelcome sexual advance occurs, whether verbal, physical, or implied. This can include any type of request for a sexual favor, any unwanted sexually explicit talk (which can be construed as verbal sexual abuse), or any kind of unwanted physical contact, and even the suggestion that somebody might advance faster or be favored for promotion if any type of sexual act is performed.

This type of crime, as interpreted by the law, can happen even by unwanted comments that have any sexual connotation at all.

In a conservative area such as North Idaho, being out of the norm can result in a hostile work environment for anybody who isn't "normal" or has ideas outside of the norm. If it results in any type of harassment, then the best thing to do is contact North Idaho sexual harassment lawyers that understand the community where you live, and have experience dealing with this type of criminal prosecution in that area.
About the Author
Beck & Poorman, Attorneys at Law (http://www.beck-poorman.com/sexual_harassment.html) specialize in Idaho state law, and retain in the services of North Idaho sexual harassment lawyers that both understand the law and the attitudes of the community where they practice.
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