Sexual harassment: Recognizing signs in the workplace

Sexual harassment is illegal under federal law and under many state and local laws. It is something no worker should ever have to experience. Unfortunately, it happens in workplaces all over the country.

It can be difficult to identify. Victims may feel helpless and embarrassed, and they may question if what they are experiencing is truly sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment can take many forms

Let’s take a look at some types of actions and behaviors that may be considered sexual harassment:

  • Repeatedly asking a coworker out on a date
  • Making comments about a colleague’s appearance
  • Inappropriately touching a coworker (rubbing, hugging, patting, purposely rubbing up against, etc.)
  • Sending suggestive emails, instant messages, or text messages to a coworker
  • Displaying pornography or other inappropriate images or videos at work
  • Asking questions about a coworker’s sexual orientation, sexual experience, love live, etc.

Sexual harassment can occur between two colleagues or between a colleague and a superior. In either case, it is illegal.

Employers must take immediate action

As soon as a supervisor becomes aware of sexual harassment, he or she must take immediate action to address the behavior. If a supervisor fails to do so, the employer may be liable.

In some cases, an employer will retaliate against an employee who complains about sexual harassment by demoting or firing him or her. This is illegal.

It is advisable for victims to speak to an attorney who handles workplace harassment cases. Victims should learn about their rights, legal options, and options for seeking compensation.

Contact Alan Lescht and Associates today, if you believe you have been sexually harassed at your job. Your consultation is completely confidential.