If you have never suffered from sexual harassment in the workplace, you may find it surprising to learn that it can be hard to identify. Sometimes, the harasser approaches his or her targets cautiously, leaving the victim unsure if the behavior constitutes harassment.
In addition to being difficult to identify, it can also be hard for victims to prove workplace mistreatment based on sex or gender has occurred without legal assistance. In the interests of educating potential victims of workplace sexual harassment in California, the following section contains some examples of unlawful behaviors. If you have suffered from any of these examples or other behaviors that make you uncomfortable or fearful, you might be a victim of sexual harassment.
- A superior suggests trading sexual favors for workplace advancement or higher wages
- A superior or coworker makes uncomfortable comments about your body or your attire
- A superior or coworker invades your personal space and/or touches you inappropriately
- A superior or coworker consistently makes rude or offensive gestures
- A superior or coworker frequently attempts to engage you or others in sexual commentary or lewd discussions
- A superior or coworker asks questions or tries to dig into your personal life
- A superior or coworker sends you sexually suggestive emails, texts or images
The list above contains only a few examples of sexual harassment, but the information can serve as a guide for those who are unsure harassment is occurring. For a more detailed picture of your own situation, it is a good idea to talk to an employment law attorney. Together, you can discuss the unwanted behaviors you are experiencing with a goal of identifying whether you have grounds to take legal action.