What is considered sexual harassment at work? When and where can it happen? Many people do not know the answers to these questions and fail to report unwanted encounters in the workplace. If you question whether you are experiencing sexual harassment at work, chances are something is not right. Below, our civil rights lawyers outline what you should know about sexual harassment in the workplace.
What Is Sexual Harassment?
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that prohibits sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination. Title VII applies to employers with more than 15 employees. This includes federal, state, and local governments, labor organizations and private sector employers.
Sexual harassment can include any unwanted comments, advances, requests or conduct of a sexual nature. These incidents are typically not isolated. They may occur over a period of days, months or even years.
Examples of sexual harassment may include, but are not limited to:
- Unwanted or uncomfortable sexual comments
- Unwanted or uncomfortable comments about someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity
- Jokes of a sexual nature
- Sexual stories or anecdotes
- Asking probing questions of a sexual nature
- Engaging in suggestive behaviors, like staring or whistling
- Displaying sexually explicit photos or images at work
- Sending sexually explicit photos or images to employees
- Unwanted physical contact
- Sexual gestures
What Is Considered Sexual Harassment at Work?
Sexual harassment occurs in the workplace when unwanted sexual comments or behaviors:
- Interfere with an employee’s ability to work
- Create an uncomfortable or hostile work environment
It is important to understand that sexual harassment can occur at any time. For example, receiving unwanted comments or images of a sexual nature can happen after business hours. Even though the action occurred outside of business hours, it can make the work environment hostile for the receiver.
Additionally, sexual harassment can come from anyone. This includes a supervisor, co-worker, clients or even a non-employee. It is sexual harassment if it is unwanted sexual conduct and interferes with your life at work.
Do You Have Questions About Sexual Harassment? Contact Our Civil Rights Lawyers
Experiencing unwanted sexual conduct can be overwhelming. If you are a victim of sexual harassment at work, you may have legal options. To discuss your potential claim with a civil rights lawyer, contact us today. You can reach us by phone at (855) 244-2031 or through our confidential online form.