Sexual harassment takes many forms. Comments about another individual’s body, sexual life and experiences, gender or gender representation or sexual orientation, as well as the use of any form or threat of sexual manipulation to exude power over another person in the workplace, are all forms of sexual harassment.
There are many commonly-held misconceptions about sexual harassment in the workplace. One is that only women experience sexual harassment. This is not true; men can and do experience sexual harassment from perpetrators of both genders in the workplace. Another common myth is that ignoring sexual harassment is the most effective way for a victim to cause his or her harasser to stop. Research has shown that this is not the case and that often a harasser will continue to harass his or her victim until an outside force puts a stop to it.
Under the Washington State Human Rights Commission, every working person in the state of Washington has the right to a safe workplace free of hostility and harassment.
Types of Sexual Harassment Experienced in the Workplace
Sexual Harassment is a term that describes a wide variety of behaviors that can lead to unhappiness, discomfort and ultimately lower productivity in the workplace. The following are types and examples of sexual harassment that can occur between employees, clients, and employers.
- Sexual Bribery. Soliciting a sexual act in exchange for any type of reward is sexual bribery. Sexual bribery can be done subtly or openly, and works by putting the victim into a position where he or she may consider committing a sexual act in order to secure a workplace perk, such as a more favorable schedule or additional vacation days.
- Sexual Coercion. Like sexual bribery, sexual coercion works on the principle of exchanging sexual acts for different treatment from supervisors. However, it is different because the victim may be punished if he or she does not comply. Examples of such punishments are poor performance reviews and termination of employment.
- Gender Harassment. This is any form of sexist statements that put down or otherwise unfairly stereotype a certain gender. Examples are sexist jokes, gender-based insults, and negative remarks to and about employees based on their gender.
- Sexual Imposition. Sexual imposition is any act of unwanted sexual touching or assault.
- Seductive Behavior. This is any type of behavior between colleagues, supervisors and their employees, and any member of the public with a member of a company that is inappropriately sexual for business. Examples include repeated requests for dates, phone calls and emails of a sexual nature, and invitations for sexual activities.
Sexual Harassment Attorneys can Help You
If you’ve been a victim of sexual harassment in your workplace, you have the right to take legal action to have it stopped. The team of attorneys at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP can help you assert your right to a safe working environment. Call HKM Employment Attorneys LLP at 206-838-2504 to speak with one of our knowledgeable attorneys. Don’t allow sexual harassment to continue to wear away at your career. Get the representation you deserve and call HKM Employment Attorneys LLP today.