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What constitutes sexual harassment at work?

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | Sexual Harrassment

Even though your employee handbook and code of conduct may have strong anti-sexual harassment wording, there’s still a good chance that sexual harassment will continue to occur in your workplace. Many employees, though, fail to recognize when they’re being harassed, which can cause them extensive harm without them even realizing that they can take legal action to find accountability, recover compensation, and set the matter as right as it can be under the circumstances.

When most people think of sexual harassment, they conjure images of unwanted sexual advances. While this makes up a significant portion of sexually harassing behaviors, it’s not the only way that you can be subjected to these disgusting behaviors. Requests for sexual favors and constant teasing about sex, an individual’s appearance, and sexuality can wind up constituting sexual harassment, too. Even name-calling of a sexual nature can become so severe that it constitutes harassment that creates a hostile work environment.

Some of these behaviors will be considered sexual harassment only if they have a direct impact on your employment. For example, if you were subjected to an adverse employment action, such as demotion, reassignment, or termination, because of the behavior, then you’ll be in a strong position to take legal action against your employer. The same is true if you report harassing behavior to your employer and are subsequently retaliated against.

Protect your interests if you’ve been sexually harassed

If you’ve been sexually harassed on the job, then you need to report it to your employer and document everything that’s been done and said to you as well as your employer’s response. That way you’ll have the evidence you need to pursue a sexual harassment claim if your employer fails you, which could impose accountability and help you offset your losses.