Understanding Sexual Harassment – Frequently Asked Questions
Sexual harassment is a complicated subject. There is a wide spectrum of ways in which a person may become a victim of sexual harassment, and uncertainty on the part of the victim is not uncommon.
At The Armstrong Law Firm, we provide extensive employment law representation throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley. If you believe you or a loved one is the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, you likely have some burning questions. Perhaps reviewing our frequently asked questions will help.
What is considered sexual harassment?
Can the use of photographs be considered sexual harassment?
What happens if I report sexual harassment?
What is the difference between sexual harassment and sexual assault?
Can I sue for sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment includes requests for sexual favors and unwelcome advances. It is also sexual harassment if the rejection of sexual advances compromises a person’s employment, performance or workplace safety.
Other acts like intimidation or aggression because of a person’s sex may also fall under sexual harassment. Additionally, a victim of harassment may be anyone offended by the conduct of a sexual nature.
Yes. Photographs depicting sexually explicit conduct, individuals without clothes, generally sexually offensive pictures and even figurines may fall under the sexual harassment classification.
In an ideal scenario, your reporting would lead to a thorough investigation by your employer. What happens from there will vary from case to case, and it is possible that the investigation leads to the termination of the accused and even litigation.
Typically, sexual assault occurs when physical force or physical threats are involved in the conduct. Harassment, however, involves actions like advances, quid pro quo requests and degrading language. In other words, the degree of the unwanted conduct by the accused is the main difference between sexual harassment and sexual assault.
Once you have followed your workplace policies regarding the conduct, it is possible you may have a case to sue for sexual harassment. Reach out to an attorney to better understand your options.