Employees have a right to feel safe in their workplace. One way an employee may feel unsafe is if they become a victim of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can begin with minor comments, for example, but they can eventually lead to larger issues of the victim’s safety.
If you believe you or someone you know is a target of sexual harassment, here’s what you should know:
Unwanted sexual comments and advances
Sexual harassment can start with a simple comment. This comment may target how someone physically looks or how someone would, for example, like to take a co-worker on a date. When these comments persist, even after being rejected, then an employee could be a victim of sexual harassment.
Many people work online and many more people have public social media accounts. Co-workers could take advantage of others by stalking people online. For example, a co-worker could make sexual comments on an employee’s social media account. Or, an employee could be receiving unwanted emails from a co-worker who is trying to make sexual advances. Digital stalking isn’t always obvious, but it’s harmful to victims.
Inappropriate calls and texts
Many employees communicate with co-workers through calls and texts. An employee could start receiving calls and texts from co-workers at every hour of the day, such as outside work hours and at night. These calls and texts may be especially appropriate if they have a sexual context.
Sexual acts in exchange for promotions or raises
An employer or manager may try to take advantage of their power by offering employees promotions or raises in exchange for sexual acts. Employees may also fear that refusing to do any sexual acts would lead to retaliation from their employer.
An employee could be getting gifts from a co-worker. This could be problematic if these gifts are only given to one employee and may have a sexual nature.
Many people suffer from sexual harassment and don’t know what to do next. Victims may need to consider reaching out for legal guidance as they navigate a sexual harassment claim.