Top Signs of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
All employees have the right to a safe work environment. Employee laws are meant to ensure that workplaces are free of hazards that could cause physical harm, as well as discrimination, harassment, and other emotionally harmful behaviors. Unfortunately, despite these laws, sexual harassment remains a common concern.
Employees frequently hesitate to report sexual harassment, either because they fear repercussions, or because they are unsure if behaviors can actually be classified as harassment. Here, sexual harassment attorneys from Chanfrau & Chanfrau, who serve the Daytona Beach, FL, and Palm Coast, FL, area, go over top signs of sexual harassment in the workplace.
Unwanted Physical Contact
Physical actions tend to be the most recognizable forms of sexual harassment in the workplace. If a coworker hugs, kisses, or makes other physical passes that are unwanted, it is a clear form of sexual harassment. However, sometimes unwanted physical contact is more discreet. Someone may “accidentally” rub against another worker, or touch or massage their back or shoulders in an attempt to relieve their stress. Whatever the motive, if someone makes physical contact that is unwanted or non-consensual, it is classified as sexual harassment.
Sharing of Sexual Materials
Sexual harassment does not always involve physical contact. Oftentimes harassment involves the sharing of sexual materials. This could include sharing memes, videos, or photos of a sexual nature, telling sexually charged jokes, or sending texts, emails, or other communications that have sexual content.
Request of Sexual Favors
When someone is being sexually harassed by a superior in the workplace, the harassment often takes place in the form of a request for sexual favors. In turn, employees are made certain promises. For example, a manager may request that an employee go on a date or provide other sexual favors, and in turn they promise to give the worker a raise, promotion, or other type of benefit. Conversely, sexual favors could be requested with the threat of retaliation. In other words, employees are asked to provide a sexual favor and then threatened that they will suffer adverse actions (demotion, discipline, etc.) if they refuse to comply.
Physical and/or Emotional Discomfort
As we’ve stated, people often hesitate to report sexual harassment because they are unsure if the law would classify certain behaviors as harassment. When determining if someone is being sexually harassed, it is their own comfort that is ultimately important. If a coworker exhibits actions or behaviors of a sexual nature, and those actions make someone physically or emotionally uncomfortable, then it is a sign that the situation involves sexual harassment.
Continued Behaviors Despite Being Told No
Daytona Beach employees who are subject to sexual behaviors in the workplace should let the perpetrator know that it is unwanted. If the actions continue after being told no it is a sure sign of sexual harassment.
Contact Our Practice
If you suspect that you have been a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, the attorneys at Chanfrau & Chanfrau would be happy to listen to the details of your case and advise you of your best course of legal action. To get in touch with our legal team, send us a message online or call (386) 258-7313.