It is not always easy to determine if you are being sexually harassed in the workplace. Sexual harassment, especially when it is happening to you, isn't always clear-cut and obvious. It is quite nerve wracking and frightening. It could be among other various things, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and/or other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.
If you are being harassed because of your gender, that is harassment too. Whether you are being assigned to less favorable shifts, given more difficult assignments, placed in less lucrative territories, or simply being singled out because of your gender, you need to report it, preferably in writing. You need to protect yourself. Below are 5 telltale signs that you are being subjected to unlawful harassment in the workplace.
1. A co-worker or your boss asks you questions of a sexual nature that makes you feel uncomfortable. First and foremost, report it and tell them to stop. For example, if you are asked about your personal private sexual life, including but not limited to, your romantic or sexual activities and/or the individual continues to talk about his or her own romantic or sexual experiences after being told their conduct makes you feel uncomfortable. Additionally, if they show you pornographic materials or this person attempts to make you to talk about a sexually-charged movie or song, it is sexual harassment.
2. A co-worker or your boss acts in a sexual nature that makes you uncomfortable. More specifically, if he or she stands too close and talks in an intimate sexually charged manner or comments on your body in an inappropriate way that makes you feel uncomfortable.
3. If you can’t get help from Management and/or Human Resources to make the harassing behavior stop. For example, if you are told by Management or Human Resources the harasser makes too much money for the company, so you just need to suck it up, or leave, that is sexual harassment.
4. If you fear you will be retaliated against if you speak up to Management and/or Human Resources about the harassing conduct. If you know other individuals that have reported harassing conduct and have been criticized, passed up for a promotion and/or were even fired for raising concerns of harassment in the workplace and the victim was retaliated against for making the report.
5. If your workplace allows sexually explicit pictures, videos, cartoons, calendars, posters, to be displayed in the breakroom. This is common in “male dominated industries” such as construction companies or other similar type of work places. You should indicate that this isn’t acceptable, and it is sexual harassment.
If you feel that you are a victim of sexual harassment, contact the Law Office of Goldstein and Clegg today to learn about your rights: