There are many forms of sexual harassment. Generally, sexual harassment may include such things as sexual comments or comments about an individual’s sex life. Using sex as a threat to employment, and using sex to manipulate an employee are all examples of sexual harassment. Victims of sexual harassment have rights and may seek to learn more about how to resolve a situation such as this with the assistance of a Pennsylvania employment attorney.
Types of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment can include a large variety of different actions and behaviors that cause an uncomfortable and unhappy workplace. Sexual harassment may occur with peers, superiors, clients or anyone else that an employee interacts within the workplace. Sexual harassment can be subjective and therefore some victims may be reluctant to make a report.
Common types of sexual harassment include:
- Sexual Bribery: This includes any actions or requests for sex in exchange for favors. For example, a manager may promise an employee special compensation such as vacation days if he or she takes part in a sexual act.
- Sexual Advances: A person may be coerced into taking part in sexual activity by being threatened with punishment if he or she declines. The employee thus feels that it is necessary to accept sexual advances in order to maintain employment.
- Verbal Harassment: Name calling, wolf-whistles, and making crude sexual jokes or innuendos are all forms of verbal sexual harassment and cannot be tolerated.
- Seductive Behaviors: Unwanted touching, grabbing, rubbing, or kissing are all sexual harassment when they are unwarranted. This can also include making repeated requests for a date, texting or calling repeatedly when not work-related, and continued flirting.
It is important to note that sexual harassment may occur with just one incident and does not need to be a repeated problem.
How to Respond to Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is unwarranted and can cause you a great deal of stress and trauma. Report sexual harassment through the proper channels of your company. However, that may not be enough to resolve the situation. In many cases, there are no consequences for the actions and nothing comes of the claim.
Employers are required to provide a safe and lawful workplace. Sexual harassment can be considered a violation of the Civil Rights Act. Employers must ensure that the workplace is free from sexual harassment and they could be held accountable. A victim of sexual harassment in the workplace might be unable to properly complete work assignments, may be afraid to come to work or might feel forced to leave the company if the situation is not adequately resolved. The employer may provide poor employee assessments, fail to promote, or terminate an employee because the employee did not accept sexual advances.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, EEOC, oversees claims of harassment in the workplace. A report should be filed and the matter will be investigated. If the situation is not resolved properly or if an employee is facing lost wages, reduced benefits, or other consequences, he or she may need to seek legal help. Contact the experienced legal team at HKM Employment Attorneys to discuss your situation today.