Just the Facts: What Is Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?

No one should have to feel uncomfortable at work. No one should be the victim of unwanted sexual advances. Unfortunately, this happens all the time. If you believe you have suffered from sexual harassment in the workplace but are not sure what the definition is – or what you can do about it – we invite you to keep reading and then contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.

Quid Pro Quo

There are two main types of sexual harassment. The first is quid pro quo, in which a worker is expected to put up with unwanted sexual contact or advances due to a threat or to receive a reward. For example, if your boss offered to give you a rise if you gave them a sexual favor, this would be considered quid pro quo sexual harassment. Remember that there is no such thing as “just once.” It only takes one incident for a person to be guilty of this crime.

Hostile Work Environments

The second main type of sexual harassment is creating a hostile work environment. There might be a sexually insensitive joke or comment once in a while, and this is generally not illegal. However, it can rise to the level of harassment if it is severe, if it occurs frequently, or if it otherwise creates a hostile work environment. Some examples include:

  • Unwelcome sexual advances
  • Hostility based on a person’s gender or sex
  • Offensive touching/gestures
  • Leering
  • Sending or displaying sexually explicit content – including cartoons
  • Comments about a person’s body, sexual activity, or appearance

These are just some examples of how sexual harassment leads to a hostile work environment.

Three Steps to Take if You Have Been the Victim of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

If the above sounds familiar to you and you have been the victim of this kind of conduct, then there are three specific steps you should take:

  1. Report the conduct. In most cases, you are required to report the harassment to your HR department or supervisor if you want to file a lawsuit. If there is no specific policy in place for doing so, then you can write up your complaint and submit it via email to the higher-up of whoever is acting inappropriately.
  2. Document the conduct. When you experience sexual harassment, write down exactly what happened. Write down the time, the date, and who was there. Record exact words and actions.
  3. Call a lawyer. The process of being a sexual harassment complaint against your employer is not simple. You need an attorney on your side who understands the process and can fight for the best possible outcome.

If you are ready to work with an experienced personal injury attorney, then we welcome your call to The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000. Reach out today for a free legal consultation.