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Examples of Sexual Harassment at Work

Published on Nov 10, 2021 at 6:28 pm in Employment Law.

Examples of Sexual Harassment at Work

When you are at work, whether it’s in an office setting or a virtual environment, you expect everyone to act professionally. You think that your coworkers and bosses will all respect you and won’t engage in any kind of misconduct—at least that’s what you hope. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, and some coworkers or higher ups decide to sexually harass you or other workers.

This could happen in person or virtually, which makes it even more daunting to experience because it feels like they can follow you anywhere. That’s why it’s important to know exactly what sexual harassment is so that you can identify it and quickly report it to superiors.

If there’s a further problem, then you’ll likely want to take legal action against your harasser. In order to fully understand what this could mean for you, we’ll need to look at what sexual harassment is and the examples of what it looks like in the workplace.

What Is Sexual Harassment?

First, you’ll need to know what sexual harassment is according to the powers at be. In the workplace, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines sexual harassment as unwelcomed or unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or any other harassment that is verbal or physical and sexual in nature.

This is not an experience that is exclusive to men or women. Both victims and perpetrators could be of any gender and committing the transgressions against any gender, and they don’t have to be of differing genders for it to be considered harassment—what matters here is that the sexual advancement is unwanted and, in the workplace, where this type of advancement shouldn’t be happening anyway.

The EEOC also notes that sexual harassment is not simply teasing or isolated offhand incidents—it is much more serious than that. Sexual harassment is typically a pattern of behavior that can be documented or proven through this pattern and creates a hostile work environment for the victim and everyone else in the workplace.

The harasser could be a peer, manager, supervisor, or any other position in the company, and doesn’t have to just be a superior. Now that you have a better understanding of what sexual harassment is in the workplace, let’s take a look of types of sexual harassment at work.

Types of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Now you understand what sexual harassment is and how it’s defined by the EEOC, but you still might not be able to conceptualize what actions like that might look like in the workplace. It’s important for you to know examples of sexual harassment at work because otherwise, you might not be able to quickly identify the mistreatment and know to report it.

The more quickly you realize you’re being sexually harassed in the workplace, even though you probably have a gut feeling that tells you what’s happening, the more quickly you can make a report and potentially file a legal claim against the person or persons harassing you.

Here are some examples of sexual harassment at work:

  • Unwanted compliments on your appearance
  • Unwanted compliments about attractiveness or talking about someone else’s attractiveness
  • Intentionally blocking a person’s path or cornering them in
  • Following someone around the office
  • Inappropriate touching, kissing, rubbing, or any other kind of unwanted physical contact
  • Telling sexual jokes
  • Insulting a person’s gender or sexual identity
  • Sending suggestive or inappropriate emails or messages
  • Making inappropriate or sexual gestures
  • Sharing inappropriate sexually explicit pictures or videos
  • Continuous unwanted sexual advances or asking on dates after repeatedly being rejected
  • Making rumors about a person’s sex life
  • Asking questions about a person’s sex life
  • Claiming the only way to get a promotion or another benefit is through sexual conduct

These are just a basic list of ways that a fellow employee or higher up could be perpetrating sexual harassment against you in the workplace. It can be incredibly difficult to experience this and can leave you feeling isolated and unsure what to do next.

Thankfully, with the help of an employment lawyer, you can take action and hold them accountable for the harassment they’ve put you through. Let’s take a look at your options.

What Can I Do After Being Sexually Harassed at Work?

After being sexually harassed, you’ll need to know what you can do to ensure that you get justice, and the person is held accountable for their harmful actions. One of the first things you can do is save everything—every email, text, message, picture, video, phone call log, and more. That way, you have evidence that this is a pattern of behavior and hasn’t stopped despite your rejection.

Next, you’ll want to report the harassment to your superior or human resources department. They’ll be able to take record of what you experienced and form a report that shows the harassment was bad enough to get to you making a report. If it continues, continue to report the sexual harassment to HR so it adds to the report and stays on your record.

Finally, you will want to hire an employment attorney. They’ll be able to determine exactly what legal action you can take for justice, especially if your employer hasn’t taken the necessary steps to stop the sexual harassment form continuing. With a lawyer on your side, you can feel confident that you’ll be supported, and your claim will be as strong as possible.

Our Employment Lawyers Are Here to Represent You

At McMath Woods P.A., we understand that this is a vulnerable time for you after being sexually harassed at work—a place where you thought you were safe. We’re dedicated to ensuring you feel comfortable and supported through every step of the legal process so that you can regain that trust you might have lost.

Our employment lawyer is here to guide you through your legal claim and help you gather evidence so it’s as strong as possible. We want you to get the justice you deserve. Contact our office today so we can start fighting for you.

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