Sexual harassment has no place on the job. The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances or sexual conduct that results in a person’s environment being offensive or hostile. It may also interfere with the person’s work.
Sexual harassment is against the law. As an employee, you’re protected against others harassing you, whether it’s a coworker, client or boss. Both state and federal laws recognize sexual harassment as a kind of discrimination and protect you against it.
There are two main kinds of sexual harassment to look out for on the job. One is quid pro quo, and the other is a hostile work environment.
1. Quid pro quo harassment
A quid pro quo form of harassment is when a supervisor, boss or other person in a position of power demands others tolerate sexual harassment in order to obtain certain benefits, raises, or jobs. For example, if your boss tells you he’ll give you a large raise if you sleep with him, that’s a form of quid pro quo harassment.
2. The hostile work environment
A hostile work environment can be dangerous or simply annoying to workers. Perhaps you have a coworker who makes lewd comments about your appearance or you deal with unwanted sexual advanced during the workday from your boss. Your coworker might forward you an inappropriate sexual email, or you could face struggles due to your sex.
Whenever you face quid pro quo harassment or harassment in a hostile work environment, you have a right to start a case against your employer. The courts will seek out information on the kind of harassment you’ve faced. You’ll want to have evidence of harassment if you can. For example, if you have text messages or emails from your boss or coworkers, this can help your case. Witness testimonies can also help.
Your attorney can help you put together your case, so you can fight back against sexual harassment. You deserve respect in the workplace.