Sexual harassment may not be clear-cut and obvious at all times. Hence, most employees find it difficult to determine if they are being sexually harassed in the workplace. Anyone who has
experienced sexual harassment in the workplace knows how stressful and frightening it is.
A 2016 report by EEOC or the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reveals that at least 1-in-4 women experience sexual harassment in the workplace. The number could much higher because most employees who undergo sexual harassment don’t report it. The most common response is to avoid the harasser or deny the gravity of the situation. The least common action is to report the harassment. It’s important to be aware of some of the top signs of sexual harassment so that you can take immediate action the next time you experience such harassment. Here are the top 5 signs of sexual harassment in the workplace.
- Unwanted Physical Contact
Unwanted physical contact of sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment. Some common examples are pinching, touching, kissing, grabbing, patting, and hugging with sexual intent. Sexual assault is the most extreme form of harassment. Although hugging and touching could be seen as an innocent expression of friendship by some people, the recipient may see it as an unlawful invasion of personal space. That’s why one needs to be cautious when performing any of these acts in the workplace.
- “Quid Pro Quo” Demands
“Quid Pro Quo” is a Latin term meaning “Something in Return for Something.” This is another sign of sexual harassment in the workplace. Workplace superiors are mostly involved in this kind of harassment. A superior may request a sexual favor from a subordinate in exchange for some type of employment action. The employment action could be something like a raise, promotion, or the elimination of chances of being fired.
- Sexualized Language And Jokes
Sexually oriented gestures, jokes, and comments come under this category of sexual harassment. This activity could be in-person, in text messages, phone calls, video or social media posts. This is another common type of sexual harassment in the workplace.
- Gender-Based Discrimination
Although women are more likely to become victims of workplace sexual harassment, anyone can be a target of sexual harassment. Transgender personnel has become the latest target of workplace harassment. All employees have the right to be free from such harassment in the workplace – irrespective of their gender or sexual preferences.
- Sharing Personal Information You Don’t Want To Know
If someone shares personal information you are uncomfortable hearing or don’t want to hear, it constitutes a subtle form of sexual harassment.
If you feel that you’ve been a victim of any type of discrimination at your place of employment contact the Scott | Perez Employment Law Firm today. Michael Scott and Javier Perez are both here to assist and provide you with the guidance and legal help you’re needing.