Some Minnesota residents may have certain misconceptions about the law. Individuals often hear of legal issues by reading the news or watching television shows or movies, but these sources may not relay the complete story when it comes to how the law actually works in certain situations.

For example, while stories of sexual harassment may make headlines, there are often misconceptions about what sexual harassment actually is and who may file a claim. Many may incorrectly believe that sexual harassment or hostile work environment claims are only an issue affecting women, for instance, when the law has no such requirement along those lines.

Two male employees recently filed a lawsuit against Hooters restaurant, for example, alleging they were sexually harassed by their box for years. The employees allege they were the victim of harassment on multiple occasions, including verbal and physical harassment like having their buttocks touched by their manager and being forced to engage in a simulated sex act. The employees claim they lost a job with the restaurant after they confronted their boss.

It remains to be seen how that particular case will be resolved. However, the case illustrates generally how anyone can be a victim of harassment. The primary issue in the case is whether the conduct at issue satisfies the legal standards for sexual harassment, regardless of who the particular victim was. Accordingly, if individuals can prove they were the victim of unlawful harassment, they may be able to hold the employer responsible for the illegal conduct and obtain legal relief.

Source: Fox News, “Male Hooters employees sue restaurant alleging sexual harassment,” Mar. 3, 2016