6 examples of workplace sexual harassment

You just got a new job, and you're already getting a bit of a strange vibe from your boss. Nothing has happened yet, but it's put you on edge.

You also know that some supervisors will try to use their position of power to harass the workers under them. You want to know exactly what types of sexual harassment to watch out for so that you can go to Human Resources if anything ever crosses a line. To help, here are six examples.

1. Asking for sexual favors.

This is the cliche in sexual harassment cases. Your boss asks you for sexual favors or a relationship. You may be offered benefits in return, like a promotion, or feel threatened with a termination of your position if you say no.

2. Making sexual jokes.

Not all sexual harassment cases fit with the cliche, though, and so it's critical to know that even "minor" things can be harassment. If others make sexual jokes at your expense, that can also qualify as harassment.

3. A hostile work environment.

They may not even make the jokes at your expense, but co-workers could make them around you often enough that it creates a hostile work environment. You don't feel comfortable. This is often true if your gender is in the minority in the office -- if you're a woman, for instance, working with two other women and a dozen men.

4. Cyber attacks.

Not all sexual harassment happens in person. If your boss sends you inappropriate text messages or emails, that could also qualify. In the world of social media, which can break down some of the professional walls between co-workers, inappropriate contact is all the more common.

5. Unwanted contact.

Unwanted physical contact doesn't have to be blatantly sexual. It could be as simple as standing too close to you and brushing against you intentionally. It could be just a hand on the shoulder or the back. If these things happen once, it could be an accident. The problem comes when it happens repeatedly, even though you say you want it to stop.

6. Attacking your sexual orientation.

Comments about your sexual orientation are off limits. This is true when co-workers know your sexual orientation and attack you because of it or when they don't know but simply make guesses or jokes about it. These types of comments and jokes can create a hostile work environment and make you feel discriminated against based on your orientation.

As you can see, sexual harassment doesn't always fit with assumptions and cliches, which is why it's so important to know how it can happen in the workplace. Right now, your boss is just giving you a slightly strange vibe, but knowing what signs to watch out for helps you react if it turns into anything more.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Free Consultation

Get Started With Your Free, No-Obligation Consultation

Let us be clear when we say "you pay us nothing unless we win." Your relationship with our law firm begins with a free consultation. You meet directly with one of our experienced lawyers. When you become our client, we never ask you to open your checkbook. We work on a contingency-fee basis, which means our fee only comes from the proceeds from a successful verdict or settlement.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

McCune Zenner Happell, PLLC The Parklane Building, 5200 Maryland Way Suite 120 Brentwood, TN 37027 Phone: 615-953-8337 Phone: 615-425-3476 Fax: 615-251-6958 Brentwood Law Office Map

  • The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers
  • The Best Lawyers in America
  • Best Lawyers Best Law Firms U S News
  • Nation's Premier NAFBA Top Ten Ranking 2014