Excepting the ogres in our midst, we all get that sexual harassment in the workplace — any workplace — centrally encompasses all forms of unwanted physical contact. That includes stroking, hugging, kissing and every other conceivable physical act that renders its recipient uncomfortable in any manner.
Sexually harassing conduct in a work environment covers a lot more terrain than mere physical acts, though, which most of us fully know, as well.
If crude sexual humor is unquestionably being aimed at you every time you enter a given workspace, you are a victim of sexual harassment. Ditto if you have to look at offensive “art,” calendars or pinups every time you enter a supervisor’s office. If it is hinted to you that a promotion might hinge on a date or romantic tryst, that quid pro quo suggestion is illegal on its face and legally actionable.
Aside from embracing a lot of territory, on-the-job sexual harassment is also egalitarian. That it, it is routinely visited across the country on victims of all ages and races. Moreover, it occurs between equals, in instances where one person is higher or lower on the company pay grade, and in both opposite-sex and same-sex situations.
It doesn’t have to be tolerated or suffered in silence. Victims should feel empowered through knowing that both federal and state laws flatly outlaw sexually harassing conduct at the workplace.
An employee with questions or concerns regarding harassment might reasonably want to schedule a candid and confidential meeting with a proven employment law attorney. Doing so might resolve a troublesome workplace issue and, in some instance, render an employer legally accountable for retaliatory conduct against a harassment victim.