Sexual Harassment – Grab them by the…
Sexual Harassment comes in many different forms is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature when…
- Submission to harasser is made either explicitly or implicitly a term of condition of an individual’s employment
- Submission to or rejection of harasser is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual
- Or such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
There are two types of Sexual Harassment
1. Quid Pro Quo means “This For That” – which in the workplace means that in exchange for a sexual favor, you will get favorable treatment in work assignments, pay or promotions.
- “Sleep with me and you will get promoted” or
- “Sleep with me or you wont get promoted.”
- Examples are:
- Going on a trip with your boss, and you refuse to sleep with him. And when you return to the office, you get reassigned to a less responsible position.
- After refusing to go on a date, getting all the bad jobs.
- Being told to “behave” or “be nice” if an employee wants to get something they should be entitled to ask for without any barrier
2. Hostile Work Environment – An hostile work environment is one in which unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature creates an uncomfortable work environment for some employees.
- An hostile work environment can take the forms of Verbal, Non-verbal, Physical and Visual behaviors.
- Verbal Risky Behaviors
- Comments of a sexual nature or based on gender
- Comments about clothing, personal behavior or a person’s body
- Sexual or gender-based jokes or teasing
- Requesting sexual favors
- Repeated requests for dates
- Sexual innuendoes
- Stories of sexual conquest/exploitation
- Leering, grunts, whistles, catcalls
- Graphic descriptions of pornography
- Obscene phone calls or text message
- Terms of endearment such as “honey”, “dear”, “sweetheart” or “babe”
- Referring to an adult as “girl”, “boy”, “doll”, or “hunk”
- Telling lies or spreading rumors about a person’s personal or sex life
- Turning work discussion to sexual topics (using ‘puns’)
- Non-verbal Behaviors
- Looking up and down
- Derogatory gestures of a sexual nature
- Sexually suggestive looks
- Facial expressions of a sexual nature, winking, licking lips…
- Physical Risky Behaviors
- Leaning over, invading a person’s space
- Uninvited neck massage
- Pressing or rubbing up against the person
- Grabbing, kissing, hugging, patting, stroking
- Inappropriate touching of person or person’s clothing
- “Accidentally” brushing sexual parts of the body
- Indecent exposure, mooning or flashing
- Blocking someone’s path with the purpose of making a sexual advance
- Actual or attempted sexual assault
- Visual Risky Behaviors
- Posters, cartoons, drawings, calendars, pictures of a sexual nature
- Knick-knacks and other objects of a sexual nature
Harassment can be committed by anyone:
- A co-worker
Do you ignore your discomfort, excuse the behavior, or blame yourself?
Do you tend to conclude that you have misunderstood and deny the behavior?
Do you discount your comfort, feel somewhat flattered, or feel concerned you are not “one of the team” if you speak up?
What to do if you are harassed:
- Preserve all evidence. While it may be uncomfortable to keep text messages or voicemails, these pieces of evidence are important to helping you.
- Report the behavior – If you have an Human Resources department or supervisor, or general manager, you are obligated to report the behavior. The company have a complete defense against you if you never reached out and told them you needed help. Management must take every complaint seriously, notify human resources or a general manager who will conduct a proper and thorough investigation of all claims, must assure there is no retaliation.
- If there is no improvement, management has not responded to you, or you are retaliated against, you should contact a lawyer immediately.
If you, or someone you work with or care about is a victim of sexual harassment, call today for a free consultation. There is no obligation to call me to learn about how you can protect yourself and hopefully improve your situation.