The simplest answer to this question is that on-the-job sexual harassment looks ugly, it looks rude, and it looks unlawful. In fact, it is all three of these things. If you feel that a co-worker is sexually harassing you, even in the most mild and subtle ways, you are encouraged to report the behavior to your human resources department immediately.
If you’re still having trouble identifying on-the-job sexual harassment, keep reading. This article will explain the problem in sufficient detail for you to recognize this vile behavior wherever it occurs.
There are two primary kinds of sexual harassment. First, we have quid pro quo sexual harassment. This happens when a supervisor or coworker coerces you to engage in sexual activity or requests you to engage in sexual activity in exchange for work favors, or with threats of lost opportunity or punishment. Second, we have hostile work environment sexual harassment. This happens when there is general workplace culture that involves jokes of a sexual or demeaning nature that others could take offense to. Sometimes the jokes are even directed at a specific employee.
Here’s what courts will look for when reviewing a sexual harassment case:
— Was the action physical or verbal?
— How often did the action happen?
— Was the action offensive or hostile?
— Was the harasser a co-worker or supervisor?
— Did anyone else participate in the harassment?
— Did the harassment single one person out or was it directed at multiple people?
No Sacramento employee should ever be forced to endure any form of sexual harassment — mild or serious — while on the job. If you are currently being harassed at work, an employment law attorney can educate you as to your legal rights and options, both to put the harassment to a stop and to seek financial damages in court when appropriate.
Source: FindLaw, “Sexual Harassment at Work,” accessed June 02, 2017