Sexual Harassment

 

Sexual Harassment Attorney Vancouver WA

If you are reading this page, the chances are you are concerned that you or someone you know is experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace. According to the Harvard Business Review, approximately 40% of women (and 16% of men) say they’ve been sexually harassed at work. If you are concerned about sexual harassment at work in Washington or Oregon, you have come to the right place. At McHugh Law, PLLC, we dedicate a large amount of our work and resources to combatting sexual harassment in the workplace.

We want to hear your story, we will fight to fix the problems at work, and we will ensure you have the opportunity to recover what you deserve for enduring harassment at work.

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Sexual harassment in the workplace can take many forms. Whether it is inappropriate comments about sex, unwanted comments about a person’s body, or unwanted touching, sexual harassment is illegal in the workplace in Washington and Oregon. Sexual harassment is a broad term and can include many different forms. If you are concerned about sexual harassment at work, you have come to the right place. We want to get to know you and your situation, so that we can achieve your goals and protect you against illegal conduct. 

Our Approach

You should not be afraid of losing your job simply for wanting to have a harassment-free workplace.

McHugh Law’s approach to sexual harassment starts with investigating your case and “keeping receipts”. You won’t get anywhere with just your memory of what happened to you. We can help you recruit allies, find witnesses, safely and effectively document your experiences in writing, preserve evidence and expose your harasser for their wrongdoing.

Once we investigate and build your case, we will help negotiate hard to ensure that you are compensated as much as possible. And if the harasser’s top offer is not enough to compensate you for the damage they have done, we will ensure that we put on the strongest case to a jury, and achieve the best results possible for you and your family.

Resource Video

Check out our resource video below: A Guide to Responding to Workplace Sexual Harassment in Washington!

In this video, Colin McHugh provides a detailed guide to responding to sexual harassment in Washington. Colin, our Vancouver, Washington, employment law attorney, provided some key recommendations on what you should do to protect yourself if you experience any sexual harassment in the workplace.

Mission

I seek justice for my clients and empower them through the law.

Happy Clients

Sexual Harrassment Attorney

Colin McHugh (He/Him)

Since beginning his practice over a decade ago, our sexual harassment attorney Colin McHugh has represented numerous victims of sexual harassment and assault in Washington and Oregon. Mr. McHugh is an aggressive litigator who seeks to hold sexual harassers accountable by making them pay top dollar to settle with his clients, sharing his clients’ stories in the local press, and going to court to achieve the best results for his clients.

Colin takes pride in his thorough investigation of sexual harassment cases, interviewing witnesses, documenting evidence, and preparing you and your case for strict scrutiny by the opposition.

Mr. McHugh has brought cases against employers large and small from drug store operators to gun accessory manufacturers. From real estate moguls, to construction companies. From small 

plumbing operations to some of the biggest retailers in the country. Although Mr. McHugh is a solo practitioner, he is not afraid to stand up to large corporations or government entities. He strongly believes that sexual harassers must be held accountable for their illegal activity in the workplace, no matter how big or small the employer.

Since beginning his practice over a decade ago, our sexual harassment attorney Colin McHugh has represented numerous victims of sexual harassment and assault in Washington and Oregon. Mr. McHugh is an aggressive litigator who seeks to hold sexual harassers accountable by making them pay top dollar to settle with his clients, sharing his clients’ stories in the local press, and going to court to achieve the best results for his clients.

Colin takes pride in his thorough investigation of sexual harassment cases, interviewing witnesses, documenting evidence, and preparing you and your case for strict scrutiny by the opposition.

Mr. McHugh has brought cases against employers large and small from drug store operators to gun accessory manufacturers. From real estate moguls, to construction companies. From small plumbing operations to some of the biggest retailers in the country. Although Mr. McHugh is a solo practitioner, he is not afraid to stand up to large corporations or government entities. He strongly believes that sexual harassers must be held accountable for their illegal activity in the workplace, no matter how big or small the employer.

Admitted To Practice

  • Washington State Courts
  • Oregon State Courts
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
  • 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

Awards & Recognition

  • Super Lawyers 2023 WA Rising Stars List
  • Super Lawyers 2022 WA Rising Stars List
  • Super Lawyers 2021 WA Rising Stars List
  • Accomplished & Under 40 Award 2021 – Vancouver Business Journal
  • Super Lawyers 2020 WA Rising Stars List

Paralegal

Taylor Yerroeck (She/Her)

With 7+ years in law, Taylor Yerroeck specializes in employment law and sexual harassment cases, actively managing all case aspects to ensure effective resolution and client support.

Office Support Dog

Foxy McHugh

Foxy McHugh is the office support animal, trained for mediations and client meetings. Foxy is available for meetings upon request, providing quiet support and snuggles.

Paralegal

Taylor Yerroeck (She/Her)

Office Support Dog

Foxy McHugh

With 7+ years in law, Taylor Yerroeck specializes in employment law and sexual harassment cases, actively managing all case aspects to ensure effective resolution and client support.

Foxy McHugh is the office support animal, trained for mediations and client meetings. Foxy is available for meetings upon request, providing quiet support and snuggles.

Colin’s dedication to protecting my rights and advocating on my behalf was unwavering.

Lisa P.

Recent Press Stories

Vancouver Chiropractic Clinic Faces Lawsuit for Alleged Sexual Harassment

Vancouver employment law attorney Colin F. McHugh is representing four former female employees of a Vancouver chiropractic clinic in a lawsuit against their former employer and an Arizona-based consultant. The lawsuit, filed in Clark County Superior Court, alleges sexual harassment and sex discrimination by ATLASRHINO INC., owned by Troy Dreiling, and Fred Schofield of Mo Chih Chu Chiropractic Training, Inc. The plaintiffs accuse the defendants of inappropriate conduct, including comments on weight and the use of a riding crop. Mr. McHugh emphasizes the emotional distress and humiliation suffered by his clients, aiming to bring justice and safer workplace standards.

McHugh Law is proud to be featured in The Columbian for our commitment to workplace equality.

Camas Pregnancy Discrimination

A hair stylist at a salon was fired while on maternity leave and requesting a modified schedule to return to her position. Mr. McHugh sued the Camas salon and its owner for pregnancy discrimination and wrongful termination.

Sexual Harassment and Religious Discrimination

Mr. McHugh represented a former employee of a real estate development firm in Vancouver, Washington, claiming sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and religious discrimination. The employee alleged that she was strongly encouraged to go to prayer meetings, was sexually harassed by a co-worker and one of her supervisors, and when she reported her concerns, management did not take reasonable steps to address the hostile work environment.

Cowlitz PUD Employee Sues Utility Provider

With the assistance of Vancouver employment law attorney Colin F. McHugh, a Cowlitz County Public Utility District (PUD) employee is pursuing legal action against the PUD and ABM Industry Groups, LLC (ABM) for negligence, alleging they risked the safety of their employees by hiring and retaining a janitor previously convicted of voyeurism and other sex-related crimes. Mr. McHugh supports his client’s claim by emphasizing the emotional distress suffered by his client and negligence by the PUD for not checking the background of the janitor at hire, and not terminating him once it became aware of his previous convictions. The legal effort aims to hold the PUD and ABM accountable for the negligent oversight that led to the unauthorized recordings of his client.
My name is Kourtney Robin, and I had the pleasure of working with Colin McHugh and Taylor Yerroeck on a case about an ex-employer of mine. The way Colin and Taylor handled the procedures, mediation, and follow through made this experience tremendously comforting, that this was the correct lawyer for the case. He reminded me that the experiences and emotions I had/have are valid and they needed to be held accountable for their decisions. I think often in situations like ours (he had represented myself and my old coworker as well) we tend to forget/forgot that we didn’t deserve those incidents especially if it was something we were so used to. Colin helped us gain the confidence and courage needed to confront these individuals and I couldn’t thank him enough for that!
– Kourtney R.

Sexual Harassment Law Resources

Can I Record My Harasser at Work in Washington State?

Can I Record My Harasser at Work in Washington State?

At McHugh Law, we are always looking for ways to catch harassers “red-handed” or in the act of harassing. Text messages, emails, videos, photos, and other “receipts” are crucial to catching sexual harassment or a hostile work environment. Although your memory and testimony alone is evidence of sexual harassment…

read more

Sexual Harassment FAQ

Common Questions

 

I don’t have any money to pay a lawyer right now, but I am really concerned about sexual harassment at work. What should I do?

For sexual harassment cases, we provide free initial consultations for potential clients. If we are interested in your case and it looks like something that we can help with, we may take your case on a contingency basis which means that we do not get paid unless you recover through a settlement or verdict. If you are concerned about money, let’s talk. We want to address your concerns about sexual harassment first. Then we can talk about how we get paid.

I had a consensual romantic or sexual relationship with someone at work. I ended the relationship, but the person continues to make aggressive sexual or romantic comments towards me. Do I still have a case for sexual harassment if I already consented to the behavior?

Consent to a romantic or sexual relationship with someone at work does not necessarily last forever. If you have revoked consent, ended the relationship, or made it clear to the person that the relationship is over, then that person needs to stop. You may still have a claim for sexual harassment if you ended the relationship and yet the co-worker continues to engage in the unwanted romantic or sexual conduct towards you. If this is happening to you, give us a call.

My boss is very careful only to harass me when we are alone together, so there are not any other witnesses. Do I still have a case?

We understand that harassers can be good about covering up their sexually inappropriate behavior. Just because the person is “good” about concealing their unwanted sexual harassment, doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t have a case. Sexual harassment can take many forms, and we can help you brainstorm ways to document the harassment in a way that can be used later in court against the harasser.

Does sexual harassment only happen to women by men?

Absolutely not. The gender of the harasser and victim does not matter. Sexual harassment can be perpetrated in all different kind of scenarios: men, women, gay, straight, non-binary, trans, cis, etc. The key is whether the harassment is unwanted, is based on sex or gender (including identity or expression), is severe or pervasive, and is imputable to the employer. Men can be harassed by women. Men can be harassed by other men. Non-binary folks can be harassed by other non-binary folks. Trans people can harass other trans people. The main question is whether the harassment is based on gender.

I have witnessed/experienced sexual harassment at work. I am afraid that if I speak up, I will get fired. What should I do?

Speaking up about sexual harassment in the workplace can be really scary. One thing to remember is that by speaking out, your job will be protected by law, meaning that if you report the harassment, you are putting a shield around yourself and your job. That’s why it is really important that if you report sexual harassment that you keep evidence about the harassment that you reported. This way, if the employer fires you or retaliates against you, you have evidence that you engaged in protected activity. If you only verbally report harassment, the employer can lie and pretend like you never said anything. Ut happens all the time. Document your reports of sexual harassment in writing. Write an email. Send a text message. Print the email. Keep a copy. You won’t regret your documentation.

I have reported the sexual harassment in writing, but the employer is ignoring me and continues to let the harassers do whatever they want. What do I do now?

One way that companies can be held responsible for sexual harassment is when they are aware of the sexual harassment, but do not take prompt, remedial measures to end the harassment. If the employer knows about the harassment and is not doing anything about it, or doesn’t take steps that could actually fix the problem, you may have a stronger case for sexual harassment because the employer cannot ignore clear signs of sexual harassment in the workplace and do nothing.

I was fired for reporting sexual harassment. What do I do now?

In addition to potentially having a case for sexual harassment, now that you have reported what you reasonably believe is sexual harassment, you may also have a claim for retaliation. Retaliation can sometimes be an easier claim to prove because it has fewer and less-stringent elements. Contact us if you believe you were retaliated against for reporting sexual harassment or other illegal behavior.

My colleague at work isn’t trying to be involved with me at work romantically or sexually, but treats women very poorly referring to women as derogatory terms like “dogs”, “wh*res”, “b*tches”, “c*nts”, “h*es”, or other gender-based insults. Is this sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination. Using gender-based epithets such as the ones above can still be evidence of sexual harassment or a hostile work environment based on gender. If you or anyone in your workplace is being called gender-based names like the ones above, be sure to give us a call.

I don’t have much evidence of sexual harassment, but I know of other individuals in the workplace that are the victims of sexual harassment as well. Does this matter in my case?

Evidence of sexual harassment of other individuals in your workplace, what is often called “me too” evidence, can be used to show that the harassment is severe or pervasive, or that the work environment is hostile based on pervasive sexual harassment. Be sure to let us know if you are aware of other victims of sexual harassment in the workplace.

I am being harassed at work, but the harasser is harassing men and women alike. Does this mean that I don’t have a case, because the harassment is not based on sex?

No. There is no “escape hatch” for the “equal opportunity harasser.” If a person sexually harasses both women and men, that means that the behavior could create a claim of sexual harassment for the men victims as well as the women victims. Sexual harassment of both men and women does not preclude a claim for sexual harassment or a hostile work environment based on gender.

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Phone

(360)-558-7099

Email

info@colinmchughlaw.com

Address

1207 Washington street Suite 225, Vancouver WA 98660

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