Sexual harassment violates both state and federal anti-discrimination laws. It’s a type of sex discrimination that involves unwanted sexual advances and/or conduct. Sexual harassment can generally be put into two categories
- Employment is conditioned on submitting to the unwanted sexual conduct or advance. For example, if your manager states you will be fired if you do not sleep with him.
- The unwanted sexual conduct creates a hostile environment. If there is no tangible personal action, the behavior must be so severe or pervasive that it in effect changed the victim’s working conditions, making it a sexually hostile work environment. The work environment is considered hostile if the harassment is directed at you, you witness the harassment in your immediate work environment, or there is widespread sexual favoritism in your workplace.
Important to Note: It is important to remember that sexual harassment can be committed by someone of the same sex and though women experience sexual harassment in the workplace disproportionately, men can be victims of sexual harassment as well.
Examples of Sexual Harassment
While not inclusive, here are some common examples of sexual harassment:
- Your boss tells you that you won’t be promoted without sleeping with him/her
- Witnessing your coworker in the next cubicle being subjected to constant sexual advances from the manager
- Unwelcome touching, patting, or pinching by your boss, co-worker or customer
- Being subjected to sexually offensive images in the workplace
- Being asked by your boss intrusive questions about your sex life
- Being sexually assaulted in your workplace
Document The Behavior
To help prove your case, it is important you document the harassment (i.e save offensive emails, memos, text messages, etc) and that you follow the reporting system within your company to report the harassment. Of course there will be times when this is not possible, but remember the more evidence you have, the more it will help your case!
Seeking Justice – Your Next Steps
If you know or think you have been victim of sexual harassment, contact Employee Justice Legal Group today for a free consultation!
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