Sexual harassment refers to behaviors that can make someone feel uncomfortable through unwelcome or unwanted attention or advances. Today we are going to take a look at some signs that should be reported with the assistance of a sexual harassment attorney:
- Making sexual statements in the form of obscene jokes, suggestive comments about appearance, whistling or catcalling, spreading rumors about an employee’s sexual preference, discussing sexual fantasies or encounters with colleagues, and rating someone’s sexual performance or appearance are some of the most common types of sexual harassment.
- People browsing through pornographic websites daily is not a rare event. But for some, it becomes a too-long wait to get home before watching obscene content. This is a common workplace problem that can harass other employees by displaying unwanted and inappropriate material.
- In the modern digital era, people are increasingly relying on electronic media to send files and messages. As a result, employees are being subjected to sexual harassment in the form of text messages, emails, or instant messages. Even sending a link to a sexually explicit website counts as sexual harassment. Text messages can be easily saved and can serve as viable evidence to support your case by your wage & hour lawyers. Instances are not rare when the harasser uses an employer-paid cell phone to send explicit messages or place the phone calls.
When employees show inappropriate attention towards colleagues also counts as sexual harassment. Some examples are making jokes about sexual favors, requesting sexual favors, invading personal space, making unwelcome visits, and putting pressure on social interaction. If someone expresses romantic interest repeatedly and doesn’t take no for an answer, then that is also considered harassment. While dating in the workplace is hard to stop, it can also cause real problems if not dealt with appropriately. The problem persists even when two employees mutually agree to date, as things can turn ugly once they break up. Working together after a breakup is not easy as one party might try to pursue the relationship while the other doesn’t want to and sees the approach as harassment.
- Crossing the line from words to actions like trying to hug, kiss, or make other inappropriate advances also counts as harassment. In extreme cases, employees might expose private body parts, fondle themselves or force colleagues to touch them in inappropriate places. Some of the most extreme cases of harassment end in sexual assault or rape.
- Under ‘secondhand’ harassment, the offended party is not directly targeted by the harassers. Someone can overhear or see someone else being harassed or come across something that might be considered offensive. It is natural for employees to develop a close relationship with each other and share personal details. But if someone discusses graphically the hot date they had in the past weekend and someone else overhears them, then that third party might get offended.
- The society we live in offers equal rights to everyone, irrespective of their lifestyle. Sexual harassment can take the form of derogatory statements or jokes about someone’s sexual preferences.
While some employees take the defensive route by putting up with such behaviors, it is always advisable to speak up and fight for your rights whenever you face these situations.