Your Boss Said What? What to do if You’ve Been Sexually Harassed at Work
If you’ve been sexually harassed on the job, you’re probably distraught on many levels. These situations are often embarrassing and upsetting – especially if you’ve been subjected to an assault, or had to endure someone’s graphic description of a sexual encounter they envision having with you.
There’s also fear. You may be afraid for your safety. Your harasser may hold a position of power or influence, so you feel that your job could be in jeopardy if you report the situation. Or perhaps you think that you’ll be blamed for the incident. (“If you didn’t wear such tight clothes to work, this wouldn’t have happened” or “You always seem like you’re flirting with her … it’s your fault for sending the wrong signals.”)
Perhaps you’ve already complained about harassment and your employer didn’t do anything – or worse, you were fired, demoted, or given the cold shoulder after your complaint.
Why You Shouldn’t Keep Quiet
Sexual harassment can take many forms – both obvious and subtle. Just remember that unchecked harassment is only likely to get worse.
The law offers specific protection for people who make complaints about illegal activity, including sexual harassment. Having a trusted legal adviser in your corner can not only help ensure your physical safety, it can help protect you from being fired or driven off the job for speaking up.
What Harassment Looks Like
What does harassment look like in the workplace? It may take many different forms, and it may include a variety of players.
According the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, sexual harassment of either employees or job applicants is illegal under federal law. Harassers or victims may be male or female. The harasser and victim may be of the opposite sex or of the same sex.
Sometimes harassment may be obvious. Some examples might include inappropriate touching, lewd or graphic comments, or invitations to perform sexual acts.
Some less obvious examples may include someone continually discussing his or her sexual exploits, showing a coworker pornographic images, or talking about his or her own anatomy with the intent to titillate the listener.
Offensive remarks about gender may also be considered harassment. These comments don’t necessarily have to sexual in nature, either. For example, someone disparaging women in a general way (e.g., “All women should be barefoot and pregnant”) may be engaging in unlawful harassment or discrimination under certain circumstances.
Contact the Murphy Law Group Now for a Free Consultation
If you feel you’ve been sexually harassed at work, don’t suffer in silence while the situation gets worse. Remember, you deserve to feel safe and respected at your place of employment – and you have a legal right to demand it.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (267) 273-1054 for a free consultation.