You hope to never be involved in any form of workplace sexual harassment, but keeping your eyes open will help protect you from trouble.
Workplace sexual harassment comes in many forms. To start, it's important to note that both men and women can be victimized.
Some of the most common forms of workplace sexual harassment include:
- Unwelcome sexual advances, despite the harasser being told "no"
- Continually asking a person on a date
- Requests for sexual favors
- Verbal harassment, such as via email or text
- Offensive remarks
Was it really sexual harassment?
This is the question that many people have a difficult time answering. For example, the law doesn't prohibit simple teasing, as long as it doesn't cross the line. Just the same, an isolated incident, such as someone asking a coworker out on a date, isn't sexual harassment.
However, it's better to be safe than sorry. If you have reason to believe you've been the victim of sexual harassment at work, collect evidence and file a formal report with your employer.
From there, continue to protect yourself against the harasser and sharing any new instances of harassment with your HR department.
Hopefully, you won't have to wait long for a resolution. If your company doesn't take you seriously, it's time to consider your legal rights. This is particularly important if your employer takes adverse action, such as demoting you, cutting your pay or terminating your employment.
Even with state and federal laws in place, workplace sexual harassment remains a major problem that doesn't appear to be going away any time soon.