The National Conference of State Legislatures says that approximately 6,500 workplace sexual harassment complaints were filed with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2020, a decrease from recent years.
The EEOC defines sexual harassment at work as any unwelcome sexual advance in the workplace. It is illegal in every state and illegal under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Yet, we hear many common examples of workplace harassment every day that extends to victims manipulated out of thinking that they are being victimized at work. That, or, victims know something awful is happening but don't want to lose their job by reporting it.
The law has protections and compensation for people that are victimized at work. A sexual harassment lawyer can help you to resolve this problem to ensure a safer workplace. Know harassment when you feel it, and seek legal advice when you are unsure.
Here are some common examples of sexual harassment at work.
Sexual Comments and Compliments
You don't have to be touched to be harassed sexually at work. Sexist comments or comments that are sexual in nature are harassment. Very often, the comments might be soft or not overt to avoid a sexual harassment complaint. If the victim doesn't say anything, the comments might become more severe and even lead to touching.
Comments are harassment if you don't like them. A victim might be the recipient of repeated compliments, or their appearance might be commented on. Body parts might be pointed to or even discussed. Sexual questions or hints about a sex life would be completely out of line with the law's requirement to instill a safe workplace environment.
Suggestive Comments in Writing or Visual in Nature
Images today are a fun thing, and so are smartphones. They are used in the workplace to create an unsafe work environment through sexual harassment. Photos might be taken of a fellow employee, or they might be shown to a fellow employee.
Images taken by the accused of their body parts or sexual might be sent to the victim. Emails or texts may arrive that are not work-related.
All of this is illegal.
Gifts, Promotions, Favors
When someone is promoted or receives gifts for no reason, it could be a sexual harassment case. Often, these gifts or promotions, even monetary bonuses, might be awarded to a victim that the accused wants to keep silent. It works sometimes.
It is illegal, and it creates another problem of discrimination in the workplace if another employee deserved that job or bonus more.
Contact a Sexual Harassment Lawyer if Your Civil Rights Have Been Violated at Work
Do these common examples of sexual harassment ring too true for you or someone you work with? When you have been harassed at work, it messes up your life. Your job is something you worked hard to get, and now it is in peril because someone is victimizing you there. That's not okay.
Document as much as you can of the harassment, and contact a sexual harassment lawyer for help. At the Hopkins Law Firm, we will review your complaint for free and stop the problem in its tracks. Call us at 843-314-4202 for an appointment today.
Does my boss need to stop workplace harassment if I report it? Nothing is happening.
It is the law that your boss needs to resolve the problem for you if your complaints to the accused won't stop it. You have the right to a safe workplace environment. Employers that do not provide this can be held liable.
What do I do if it is a customer that keeps harassing me?
It is not uncommon for unwanted contact or conversation to come from a customer. Report it to your employer. If they would rather keep the customer than have a safe workplace, report it to a lawyer.
I reported it, and it won't stop. What do I do?
At this point, you need to escalate your claim and talk to a sexual harassment lawyer. A consultation would be free, which will be a way to get the ball rolling on a resolution. It is illegal for you to lose your job if you report an unsafe work environment.
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