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Sexual Assault in the Workplace SC

Sexual assault and harassment in the workplace are widespread problems that impact many South Carolinians. If you were sexually assaulted on the job or the victim of any form of non-consensual sexual contact in the workplace, The Noble Law Firm can explain your options for legal recourse.

Title VII governs sexual assault in the workplace

Any incident of sexual assault committed by a supervisor or manager is actionable under Title VII, as courts have ruled that it creates a hostile work environment. Our attorneys recognize that sexual assault and harassment in the workplace can have lasting repercussions for victims and their families. It is not uncommon for victims to experience mental health problems that disrupt their quality of life, personal relationships, and undermine their careers.

Unfortunately, sexual assault tends to overlap with other forms of workplace misconduct and discrimination. A retrospective analysis of EEOC charges filed between 2012-2016 by employees in the private sector found that African American women were the most likely to file claims for both sexual harassment/assault and racial discrimination. Regardless of race, gender, or age, everyone deserves to work in a safe environment.

Steps to take after workplace sexual assault

If you are the target of sexual assault in the workplace, there are certain steps that can help protect your rights. It’s important to seek medical attention so that healthcare professionals can assess the physical damage and refer you to therapists to help process the trauma. In the case of rape, sexual battery, or attempted rape, victims should also contact the police. Sexual assault is a crime, and a police report may strengthen later legal actions that are taken.

Whether the assault took place in the office, at an off-site work event, or in the immediate area, be sure to notify human resources at your workplace.

Whether you intend to press charges or not, it’s crucial to speak with a knowledgeable sexual assault attorney who will outline the best steps moving forward.

What is considered sexual assault in SC?

Regardless of where it happens, sexual battery is a criminal offense for which victims can pursue criminal remedies.  In South Carolina, sexual assault, which includes  any nonconsensual sexual act that is forced or coerced, is a broader category of actions for which victims may pursue civil remedies. It includes situations where the victim lacks the capacity to consent.

Sexual assault is broad term that can encompass many different actions, including:

  • Groping
  • Forced kissing and touching
  • Rape and Attempted Rape
  • Pressuring or threatening someone to take part in a sexual act with the perpetrator
  • Assault by penetration

Perpetrators can use a handful of tactics besides brute force to commit sexual assault in the workplace. Victims may be manipulated, intimidated, bullied, or impaired by drugs or alcohol. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, South Carolina employers are legally obligated to investigate reports of sexual assault in their workplace.

When businesses do not have clear procedures and policies in place regarding sexual harassment or assault in the workplace, victims can still have their voices heard. The Noble Law is well-equipped to handle sexual assault and workplace discrimination cases, helping victims move toward closure with dignity.

What is the statute of limitations for sexual assault in South Carolina?

As outlined in S.C. Code Ann. § 15-3-555, sexual assault victims who are 21 or older generally have three years to file a civil lawsuit against their perpetrator and/or employer. However, if the victim is a minor at the time of the assault, the statute of limitations may be extended to 6 years from the day the victim turns 21.

There is often a delay in reporting workplace sexual assault events. The targets may blame themselves, make excuses for the perpetrator, or refrain for fear of retaliation. Sexual violations in the workplace can be humiliating and degrading experiences, leaving victims feeling helpless. Some fear that their allegations will be mocked or refuted, that they will lose their job, or the incident will taint their professional careers.




South Carolina


Triangle (Raleigh / Durham/ Chapel Hill)


The Noble Law offers legal advice and consultations on employment issues in-person, through video, and by phone. The first step is to call the office in your area.
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