Leveling The Field

North Carolina - New York - South Carolina

Sexual Assault in the Workplace

Let our experienced employment law attorneys advocate for you. 

When you work with The Noble Law, you gain access to a team of employment lawyers who will work to understand your situation and help you understand your legal options. Schedule a consultation with a workplace harassment lawyer in South Carolina or North Carolina today.

Unfortunately, the reality is that many people find themselves the subject of unwanted sexual advances or actual assault while at work. This is against the law and should not be tolerated. Everyone has the right to feel safe while on the job. At The Noble Law, we protect your rights while fighting for you to receive the justice you deserve.  

What Laws Protect Employees from Sexual Misconduct? 

“Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) is a federal law that permits employees to sue employers for unlawful sexual misconduct in the workplace. Title VII also protects employees from retaliation for reporting instances of sexual misconduct at work. In certain cases, the North Carolina Equal Employment Practices Act (NCEEPA) also protects employees from retaliation for objecting to sexual harassment.  

A victim of workplace sexual harassment may also seek legal relief through a civil tort claim. These may include claims for assault, battery, or intentional infliction of emotional distress. Whether any of these claims can be brought against the employer in addition to the perpetrator will depend on the facts of each case. 

In certain cases, criminal referrals are appropriate. As a crime, sexual assault falls under North Carolina General Statutes § 14-27.1, Rape and Other Sexual Offenses.

Examples of Sexual Assault at Work 

 Examples of sexual harassment at work include: 

  • Unwelcome advances 
  • Demands for sexual favors, often a quid pro quo 
  • Exposure to pornography at work 
  • Name-calling or sexual slurs  
  • Inappropriate touching  
  • Inappropriate compliments, such as remarks on breast size 

Some of these behaviors, such as inappropriate touching, may fall into the category of sexual assault, which can be both a crime and civil violation. 

What to Do If You are a Sexual Assault Victim at Work  

If you believe sexual misconduct has occurred or is in progress in the workplace, you should report it immediately to your supervisor or your organization’s Human Resources Department. If the employer is not given an opportunity to correct the wrongdoing, any future recovery from a legal claim may be limited.  

If you have been subject to sexual misconduct and are interested in pursuing a complaint under Title VII, you must file a discrimination complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 180 days of the incident date. If you were the victim of sexual assault, you should contact the police.  

Criminal vs. Civil Law and Negligence 

The perpetrator of a sexual assault faces criminal liability. During criminal proceedings, the government is responsibility for convicting the perpetrator and ensuring he or she faces appropriate punishment.  Separately, the victim may also file a civil lawsuit against the defendant to recover damages, which may include lost wages, emotional distress, medical bills, litigation costs, and attorney’s fees. It is also possible to file a lawsuit against the employer for negligence in either a sexual assault or harassment case. The employer is obligated legally to take reasonable steps to prevent sexual misconduct and to investigate and protect employees once they know that an employee was subject to inappropriate sexual behavior. Failing to do so can make the employer liable.   

To prove the employer was negligent, the victim must provide evidence. Such evidence may include the following: 

  • Lack of a safe working environment. 
  • Failure to respond appropriately –when an employee files a sexual harassment complaint, it is incumbent upon them to act immediately. Should no action or insufficient action occur, the employee may hold the employer liable for an unsafe working environment. 
  • Employer retaliation–After filing a sexual harassment or assault claim, the employer cannot retaliate against the victim. Examples of such retaliation include firing, demotion, harassment, or similar hostile actions.  
  • A plaintiff may prove that his or her employer was negligent in various ways. For example, the employer may not have conducted a thorough background check on the individual alleged to have committed the sexual assault or harassment. If there were warning flags indicating the person may have been a danger, the employer might have engaged in negligent hiring. Employers are also responsible for monitoring employees regularly and training them

Contact The Noble Law 

If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, harassment, or discrimination in the workplace, you need the services of the sexual assault attorneys at The Noble Law. Contact us to inquire about a free, no-obligation consultation today. 




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.
Call Us
Charlotte: 704.626.6648
Raleigh-Durham: 919.251.6008
South Carolina: 864.565.9059