Frequently, when we talk about workplace sexual harassment, the actions that spring to mind are the apparent and overt ones that are taking place. Sexual harassment can take many forms, including unwelcome touching of the genitalia or breasts, unwanted caressing, pinching of the butt, and even rape.
Of course, incidents like these may be seen in a variety of industries. Click here for more information on the industries in which sexual harassment training in mandated in your state. However, there are even more subtle acts that constitute as sexual harassment, such as ogling, street harassment, cornering a subject into a tight area, and so on. These are all examples.
The following are some instances of conduct that may be considered harassment in the context of the workplace:
- Making unsolicited asks for a relationship or a sexual favors is considered to be inappropriate behavior.
- Making derogatory comments regarding a person’s physical appearance or the way they carry themselves.
- Commenting negatively and stereotypically on a person’s gender or the sexual orientation they identify with. For example, mentioning something like “women are…”
- using derogatory terms based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender as an insult.
- Making jokes that are obscene, sexually graphic, or otherwise vulgar about sex or sexual behaviors.
- Sending sexually explicit messages via email or text message to other people.
- The practice of disseminating rumors or engaging in gossip about a person’s personal relationships or sexual life.
- Touching any body part, including clothes, in an inappropriate manner is unacceptable. Assault, embracing, and kissing someone without their consent are all clear examples of sexual activity that are not allowed.
- It is also considered sexual harassment to make sexual comments or gestures toward another person, such as staring or leering at them.
- Interfering with another individual’s progress by physically standing in their path.
- The act of transmitting, exhibiting, or sharing pornographic or other offensive media, such as photos or movies.
By the way, are you aware that it actually doesn’t make a difference what the harasser believes or knows about harassing at the time that they are engaging in the harassing behavior? Even if the person conducting the harassing believes what they’re doing is in no way sexual, harmless, or inappropriate, they are still engaging in harassment.
Does A Person Act Like A “Victim” After Harassment?
There isn’t any way to gauge a person’s reaction as a victim to harassment. It does not change the fact that they were harassed; harassment is still harassment. Therefore, the fact that the harassed individual does not intervene to let the assaulter understand what they’re doing or expressing is unacceptable does not exclude the possibility that they have been subjected to sexual harassment.
Let’s imagine someone tells a joke that is insulting and you chuckle along with it. You may also find yourself in the middle of a hug since it happened so quickly and you were taken off guard, or you could have hugged the person because you didn’t want them to feel ashamed. Even instances like these might be considered forms of sexual harassment.
The majority of the time, this occurs when the harasser holds a position of authority over the victim, and the victim is too terrified to speak up for fear of the repercussions. Therefore, comments of this nature do not make it acceptable to engage in sexual harassment in any circumstance.
Keep in mind that in order for a behavior to be considered sexual harassment (Sexual harassment – Wikipedia), it is not enough for it to be unpleasant to the victim on its own; it must also be objectionable to a reasonable person who was in the same situation as the victim.
Forms That Sexual Harassment Can Take
The Quid Pro Quo as well as the Hostile Workplace Culture are the two primary categories that Title VII recognizes as constituting sexual harassment in the workplace.
Quid Pro Quo
This type of harassment occurs when a superior requires a subordinate to submit to sexual harassment in return for retaining their job, receiving a promotion, or receiving particular employment privileges.
Even a single instance is sufficient to substantiate workplace charges of a quid pro quo.
Toxic Work Environment
When sexual harassment in the workplace becomes pervasive, a hostile work environment is present. Unwelcome sexual solicitations based on gender that become persistent and severe enough even to make the workplace insulting or abusive are adequate grounds in legal action. Check here for more guidance, https://legaldictionary.net/hostile-work-environment/.
When determining whether a claim for hostile work environment is legitimate, courts often evaluate the following factors:
- Was the behavior verbal, physical, or both?
- How often did this behavior occur?
- Was the behavior obviously unfriendly or offensive?
- Was the harasser a coworker or someone in a higher position, such as a supervisor?
- Was the harasser assisted by anyone? Were there others who participated in the harassment?
- The harasser may have singled out a victim, or he or she may have tormented several victims.
Before filing, understand that the claimant must satisfy certain requirements in order to provide a case. First, a victim must find the conduct to be insulting, aggressive, or abusive. The behavior must also be insulting, aggressive, and abusive to a reasonable person under the same circumstances.