What is sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment in the workplace is a serious issue. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.”
In other words, any type of unwanted behavior related to sex that makes it difficult for someone to do their job can be considered sexual harassment. It can be difficult to recognize the signs of sexual harassment because they can vary from person.
What are signs of workplace sexual harassment?
There are many different types of behavior that can be considered workplace sexual harassment. Some common signs include:
-unwanted comments or jokes about someone’s body or appearance
-sexually suggestive comments or gestures
-unwanted touching or groping
-repeated requests for sexual favors
-unwanted sexual attention
These are just a few examples of the kinds of behavior that can be considered sexual harassment. If you experience any of these or other similar behaviors, it’s important to speak up and report it.
Why does sexual harassment in the workplace happen?
There is no one answer to this question. In some cases, it may be the result of a power dynamic in which the harasser feels they can get away with this type of behavior. In other cases, it may be due to a lack of understanding about what constitutes sexual harassment.
Regardless of the reason, sexual harassment in the workplace is never acceptable. If you are being harassed at work, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and stop the harassment.
What should you do if you experience workplace sexual harassment?
-Speak up: If possible, try to address the situation directly with the person who is harassing you. Let them know that their behavior is unwelcome and make it clear that you want it to stop. If this doesn’t work or you feel unsafe doing so, report the harassment to your supervisor or another trusted coworker.
-Document everything: Keep track of any incidents that occur, including the date, time, and description of what happened. This can help support your case if you decide to file a formal complaint.
-Get help: If you’re struggling with the harassment, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. There are many resources available, both from your employer and from outside organizations.
What should you do if someone you know is experiencing workplace sexual harassment?
If you know someone who is being harassed at work, there are a few things you can do to support them.
-Believe them: It’s important to believe and support someone when they come to you with this kind of information.
-Listen: Let them share their story with you and offer whatever support they need.
-Encourage them to speak up: If they haven’t already, encourage them to report the harassment. This can be a difficult decision, but it’s important to remember that they have the right to a safe workplace.
Sexual Harassment Resources
If you or someone you know is experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace, there are many resources available to help.
-The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency that handles complaints of discrimination, including sexual harassment.
-Your state’s fair employment practices agency may also have resources available.
-There are many organizations that provide support and information for victims of sexual harassment, such as the National Women’s Law Center and RAINN.
No one deserves to be harassed at work. If you’re experiencing sexual harassment, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. There are many resources available to assist you. With the right support, you can put an end to the harassment and create a safer workplace.