Some have been calling 2018 the year of the woman. The truth is that more often than not, women are the group suffering the effects of workplace sexual harassment. Anyone can be affected, but predominantly, women are the victims of the unwanted sexual advances. Sexual harassment can manifest in many ways, so it is good to understand if one is the target of sexually harassment.
Understanding one’s circumstances and what is and is not okay is the key to discovering if one is suffering sexual harassment at work. Sexual harassment is never okay, but in the workplace, it can be especially damaging as it can prevent the advancement of a person’s career and can have lasting emotional effects. Quid pro quo occurs in instances when something is offered in exchange for something else, like sexual advances in exchange for a promotion.
Hostile work environments can take shape when a person in the workplace creates a pervasively uncomfortable environment using sexual words or actions. This may include offensive jokes, unwelcome touching, blocking one from leaving a room or other sexually charged behaviors that intimidates or offends.
It is every person’s responsibility to ensure that their actions are not being construed as sexual harassment. That means that what may be sexual harassment to one person may not be viewed that way by someone else. Making it clear to the person that they would like their behavior to stop and alerting the HR department are great ways to make one’s wishes known. Employers have a responsibility to ensure a happy and healthy workplace for every employee and that includes a workplace free of sexual harassment.
At The Litigation Boutique, LLC, we know how frustrating unwanted sexually charged behaviors can be at work. Everyone has the right to happy and healthy workplace. These situations can quickly result in retaliation claims in which a workplace retaliates for sexual harassment claims by demoting or even firing an employee after making claims of sexual harassment. This is illegal and should not go unaddressed.