Do I have a claim if I dated my boss before the sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is characterized by unwelcome, severe, and pervasive behavior of a sexual nature aimed toward you. Whether you are currently in a relationship with your boss or dated him or her in the past, this definition still stands. If your boss is making unwanted sexual advances, asking for sexual favors, or creating a hostile work environment for you, you most certainly can—and should—file a claim. Of course, the circumstances and timeline of your previous relationship do matter.

The more important consideration is not whether you had a relationship but when and if the relationship ended. For example, if you had a relationship with your boss and you communicated to your boss that you decided to end it, and you no longer wish to discuss personal matters, your boss must respect your wishes.

It would avoid problems if you would ask to be transferred to a different area of responsibility. Another suggestion is to meet with Human Resources and discuss the matter so that you are on record that you wish the relationship to be strictly professional. As long as the relationship was consensual, it would not be valid to complain that it was sexual harassment after the fact in retaliation because he broke it off.

Suing your boss often gets complicated and overwhelming. With the legal assistance of an employment law attorney at Alan Burton Newman, PLC, you can receive guidance and advocacy from an experienced professional. Contact our firm to receive a free consultation from a Harvard-educated lawyer.

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