Connect with us


How to Deal with Workplace Sexual Harassment



Experiencing workplace sexual harassment can create feelings of awkwardness and confusion. We analyze our feelings of discomfort against the other person’s intent. Did they really mean it that way? Was I over-reacting? All these questions and feelings are normal as you navigate through this troublesome situation. 

That’s why most employees are required to undergo a sexual harassment training to avoid being caught in this situation. This will help them identify behaviors that may be sexual harassment and will educate them of their responsibilities in case it happens to them or with their co-employee.

What Constitutes Workplace Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment can come from anyone ranging from a superior, a co-worker, and even a client. It is not limited to suggestive language, either. It may be disguised as teasing, intimidation, or offensive comments determined by a stereotype.

The conduct can evolve into bullying based on gender identity, sex, or sexual orientation. Sexual harassment isn’t limited to the sexual commentary but includes both race and ethnicity.

How Do I Know If I’m Being Sexually Harassed?

It’s normal to second guess what went on or to attempt to minimize it. No one wants to feel violated or discriminated against, either. The tell-tale sign is if someone did something to make you feel uncomfortable – whether intended or not. Then, this needs to be addressed.

 Other examples of sexual harassment can include:

  • Unwanted requests for dates/sexual favors
  • Mean comments/jokes based on gender/sexual orientation/appearance
  • Sexual orientation-based or gender-based slurs
  • Voicing offensive, boorish, or explicit jokes regarding sexual acts or sex
  • Spreading emails, messages, or texts of a sexual nature
  • Inappropriate/unwanted touching — This includes kissing, assault, and hugging
  • Leering, ogling, or gestures with sexual overtones
  • Aggressively blocking movement
  • Placing, sharing, or sending pornography or vulgar/suggestive pictures.

It qualifies as sexual harassment if the person is uncomfortable regardless of the other person’s intent. It is also harassment even if the person doesn’t voice that the behavior is inappropriate.

Your Rights Regarding Workplace Sexual Harassment

You have the right to work in a company that is free of discrimination. The environment cannot be hostile based on gender identity or sex.

You also have the right to:

  1. Be informed of your workplace’s policies on sexual harassment including how to report it.
  2. Discuss your concerns or speak out against workplace sexual harassment. It doesn’t matter if it is towards you or someone else.
  3. Tell HR or your employer about the harassment. It should be done in written form, and copies should be made as evidence. It should be reported internally prior to legal action.
  4. Protest/picket against discrimination
  5. Have the complaint seriously taken and properly investigated.
  6. Ask your boss what will transpire and who will know if a complaint is filed
  7. Go to a government agency to file charges, sue your employer, testify as a witness, or do nothing.

Workplace sexual harassment falls under sex discrimination making it illegal (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964). Employers are in charge of ensuring the workplace is free from sexual discrimination once they are aware of it. It is up to the HR department/employer to take prompt action and stop the behavior. If they don’t, you can take legal action.

Retaliation in any form is illegal. Employment cannot be affected in any way for coming forth with allegations. 


Additional Reading:-

Yourself Quotes is a one-stop solution for the finest quotations and an unlimited collection of self-development, people's quotations, motivational stories, festivities online, and much more inspirational stuff.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *