Sexual harassment is a difficult topic to unpack. It involves complex social interactions that are hard to parse after-the-fact. In fact, it isn’t even always readily apparent whensexually harassing conduct takes place. This post will go over six tips to help you identify when sexual harassment occurs and what you can do.
First, there is no “set” aggressor in a sexual harassment case. Supervisors and managers harass people to the same extent as co-workers and independent contractors or even non-employees.
Second, victims of harassment include both men and women (but the majority does tend to be women). Furthermore, victims of harassment are not always the opposite sex.
Third, sexual harassment only occurs if the aggressor’s conduct is unwelcome. As stated before, sex is complicated. People are free to interact at work, so long as it is consensual between all parties. The government does not prevent people from forming sexual relationships at work; it only prevents sexual acts that are unwanted or lack consent.
Fourth, victims aren’t always the one’s being harassed. People can be offended by the conduct or even emotionally harmed. For example, victims of sexual assault may be sensitive to workplace harassment.
Fifth, sexual harassment does not require the harassment to include a financial or employment consequence. The conduct can be limited to just harassment.
Finally, sexual harassment includes a broad range of activity from unwanted sexual advances and quid pro quo exchanges for sexual favors to overt verbal or physical, sexual conduct. There are no set definitions, but it is any unwanted sexually-tinged act that interferes with a person’s ability to work and creates a hostile or intimidating work environment.
>Were you the target of unwanted sexual advances in the workplace? If yes, you may want to speak to an attorney. There are many steps between sexually harassing conduct and a lawsuit, and a lawyer can walk you through them. Contacting an attorney does not mean you are required or even going to file a lawsuit. It only means you are exploring your legal rights, both within and without the company. An attorney can help you enforce your rights. You deserve to work in a safe environment; a lawyer can help you keep your job safe.