Sexual harassment doesn’t just refer to quid pro quo harassment these days, and there are a number of activities that could be considered harassment in the workplace. If you feel uncomfortable or pressured, you might be experiencing sexual harassment. Understanding what might constitute sexual harassment helps you know whether you may have a legal basis for action against a person or employer.
A first type of sexual harassment is the aforementioned quid pro quo situation. In such a scenario, one person demands sexual favors from another in exchange for job perks, job promotions or withholding negative job actions, such as termination or discipline. Sexual favors can range from wearing a certain style of clothing to actual intercourse.
Another very different type of sexual harassment relates to gender identification and sexuality. If a person is discriminated against or forced into certain situations because of his or her sexuality or gender identification, it’s possible that sexual harassment is occurring.
A third form of sexual harassment can be insidious because it is difficult to pinpoint. This type of harassment takes the form of carefully voiced comments, jokes or small actions that make a person very uncomfortable but aren’t as blatant as overt forms of harassment like demanding sxual liberties for a perk. If someone is constantly commenting on your appearance or moving too close to you and repeatedly finding reasons to touch you, these actions could fall into this category of sexual harassment.
These are only some ways sexual harassment can occur. If you feel uncomfortable in your workplace and feel it is due to sexual harassment, consulting with a third-party legal professional can help you understand whether you have any type of claim and what the appropriate next steps might be.
Source: FindLaw, “Understanding Different Types of Harassment,” accessed Jan. 08, 2016