Top Five Signs of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Employment laws, and anti-discrimination and harassment laws in particular, are in place to ensure that employees are able to work in an environment that is safe and comfortable. Unfortunately, sexual harassment remains a common concern in the workplace. Sexual harassment can take place in many forms, and it is not always overt or obvious. This leaves many people to question whether they are victims of sexual harassment at work.
Here, sexual harassment attorney Dan A. Atkerson presents the top five signs of sexual harassment in the workplace. Employees in Allen, TX, Plano, TX, Frisco, TX, and surrounding areas who have been victim of this type of treatment should consider filing a sexual harassment claim.
Sexualized Language or Jokes
Sexual harassment does not always involve direct advancements or clear-cut physical actions. Oftentimes sexual harassment comes off in the form of a joke. People may think they can get away with telling jokes that are sexual in nature, using sexually oriented gestures, or sharing images, videos, etc. that have sexual content, but that is not the case. Any sexual content or discussions that make someone uncomfortable constitutes sexual harassment.
Sharing Too Much Information
Another less obvious form of sexual harassment is oversharing. If someone is providing “TMI,” or too much information, about their sexual life, their sexual health, or sexual desires, it is not okay. Co-workers or employers should not share personal information that makes others feel uncomfortable.
Sexual Advances Despite Being Told “No”
While some workplaces have policies in place that deter co-workers from dating one another, not all do. And dating within the workplace is not illegal under employment laws. However, while someone may ask a coworker out on a date or express interest in pursuing a relationship, any advances should stop as soon as they are turned down or told no. If someone continues to pursue someone at work after being told no, it is considered sexual harassment.
Unwanted Physical Contact
Unwanted physical contact is one of the more overt forms of sexual harassment. However, even with unwanted touching, sexual harassment victims may feel that they may be overreacting to “friendly” gestures. Whether a person is patting, rubbing your shoulders, hugging, pinching, grabbing, or kissing, it falls under the realm of sexual harassment, provided that the touching is unwanted and makes the recipient feel uncomfortable.
“Quid Pro Quo” Demands
“Quid pro quo” demands, or requests for sexual favors, are the most easily recognized form of sexual harassment. Quid pro quo demands usually come from a superior in the workplace. Essentially, that person asks for, or demands, a sexual favor in exchange for some type of employment action, like a raise or promotion. Quid pro quo demands may also involve threats. For instance, a superior could threaten negative workplace repercussions (like termination) if a sexual favor is not provided.
Contact Dan A. Atkerson
Federal and local employment laws provide workers with protections from sexual harassment in the workplace. If you have experienced any of the above signs of sexual harassment at work, your rights have been violated and you should consider taking legal action. To discuss your case with sexual harassment attorney Dan A. Atkerson, send us a message online, or call our law firm at (214) 383-3606.