Despite increased awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace due to numerous high-profile examples, sexual harassment at work still runs rampant.
According to a 2016 study by the EEOC, as much as 75 percent of people who experience workplace harassment do not bring it to the attention of their employer. Sometimes this is due to the fear of retaliation. Other times, it is because a victim does not know what constitutes sexual harassment.
The bottom line is that if a behavior is unwelcome and possibly crosses a line, there’s a good chance that it is sexual harassment. Many types of behavior are actionable under the law and, despite your concerns, you should contact a sexual harassment attorney to explore your options and protect your rights.
Examples of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Many employees are quick to dismiss inappropriate behavior, partly because many believe “it’s not that big of a deal” or some victims will say “I can handle this on my own.”
But many workplaces are difficult and stressful enough without the added pressure that sexual harassment can produce. Part of the issue is trying to decide if an offhand comment or some other vague reference qualifies as sexual harassment. Other forms of sexual harassment are more blatant; however, this is not always the case.
But any action that happens involving sexual favors to advance a career or get a promotion (quid pro quo harassment) or physical/verbal sexual conduct that is severe or pervasive can alter working conditions into a hostile work environment and should not be allowed to continue.
Some specific examples of these types of inappropriate behaviors include:
- Asking an employee about their sex life or discussing your own sex life in front of another employee
- Making sexual jokes
- Comments or compliments about the appearance or attractiveness of another employee
- Sending sexually suggestive texts or emails as well as giving unwanted gifts of a sexual nature to another employee
- Unwanted and repeated touching or hugs
It’s important to note that sexual harassment can also take place by customers or clients and that it is not strictly confined to men sexually harassing women. Sexual harassment claims are gender neutral and it is just as serious when a female employee harasses a male employee. With the assistance of a sexual harassment attorney in Boston, you can seek the justice that you deserve.