What does sexual harassment look like in the workplace?

If you've been having a hard time at work and you believe you are being harassed due to your gender or sexual orientation, it's time to take action.

When you're pursuing a career, you want to focus on things like personal growth, business development, and your networking skills. You probably don't want to worry about being harassed or teased at work, especially based on your gender or sexual orientation. The truth is that sexual harassment can affect anyone, regardless of gender. Harassment may affect both men and women and does not discriminate based on age. Both young professionals and experienced adults may be the victims of harassment in the workplace. If you suspect that you may have been the victim of sexual harassment, there are a few things you need to know.

Types of harassment

First off, make sure that you understand the different types of harassment. Sexual harassment may look different in different workplaces. In some cases, it may include unwanted hugging or touching. A superior or colleague may request sexual favors from you. Perhaps your coworkers are constantly sharing their sexual exploits. All of these examples are types of sexual harassment that may create a hostile work environment for you. Harassment may be verbal, physical, or both. The term "sexual harassment" encompasses unwelcome and unwanted sexual advances by another person in the workplace. It may include requests for sexual favors, as well as the sharing of sexual experiences, or comments about someone's sexual orientation or behaviors. Some adults believe that sexual harassment only includes violent or aggressive offenses; however, even verbal aggression may be sexual harassment.

Steps to take after harassment

One of the most important things to remember is that documentation is vital when you're being sexually harassed. In most cases, you will have to prove or demonstrate that the harassment took place. Before you report this to your superiors, make sure you have a list of dates, times, and situations that took place. You'll need to name names and to discuss exactly what was said. Additionally, you should save any emails or text messages you may have that are sexual or harassing in nature. In most workplaces, you'll need to report sexual harassment to HR before you can pursue legal action, according to Forbes.

Pursuing legal action

If reporting harassment in the workplace does not seem to create a safer work environment, it may be time to meet with an attorney. Remember that you have the right to work in a safe environment. Sexual harassment may create a hostile place for you to work where you cannot reasonably complete your duties in a safe and effective way. An attorney may be able to discuss your case with you and help you to pursue legal action that can result in changes taking place in your workplace.

If you've been the victim of sexual harassment, you aren't alone. Reach out to an attorney who can discuss your options with you for moving forward. Your lawyer will discuss the details of your case with you and help you to understand exactly what your next steps should be.