Employees in all industries expect to go to work and complete tasks in an environment free from harassment and forms of hostility. But, unfortunately, sexual harassment happens.
The following are a few examples of sexual harassment at work.
1. Undesired physical contact
The Legal Information Institute states that unwelcome physical conduct of a sexual nature falls under the category of sexual harassment. If someone grabs, hugs, kisses or touches an employee without consent at work, this qualifies as sexual harassment.
2. Sexualized jokes
Employees subject to inappropriate jokes and comments of a sexualized nature could be the target of sexual harassment at work. Not only can these comments occur in a physical workplace environment, but they can happen in an online context at work as well.
3. Unwanted requests
If someone in the workplace consistently requests sexual favors from an employee, this is another sign of sexual harassment. These requests may persist even if the employee repeatedly turns them down or ignores them.
If you are an employee who believes you are a victim of sexual harassment – regardless of how nominal – you have rights – and can take steps to stop the behavior. Speaking to your manager or your HR department is a good place to start, but if the harassment persists, or you are retaliated against for complaining, you should contact a qualified and knowledgeable employment lawyer.
If you are an employer who wants to ensure a workplace free of sexual harassment and avoid potential claims, you should seek the advice and assistance of an experienced employment attorney.