Sexual harassment in the workplace is still terribly common. In some industries, sexual harassment is so prevalent that people essentially get numb to some of the actions they see.
Keeping in mind that sexual harassment can involve people of any gender and can come from coworkers as well as people in a position of power over the victim, here’s what sexual harassment can look like:
- Your shift supervisor tells you that he’ll let you off the day you requested if you agree to go out with him.
- Your coworker pins you against a cooler and forces a kiss.
- Your cubicle partner at the office “jokingly” propositions you for sex.
- Your boss constantly runs her hands over your shoulders, leans on you, touches your face and otherwise acts intimately with you.
- Your co-workers think it’s entertaining to discuss their sexual escapades and fantasies during the shift.
- One of your co-workers flashes you and laughs.
- You find obscene jokes in your email or vulgar notes left on your desk.
- Your supervisor makes rude comments about your looks or physical attributes.
Violence can be part of sexual harassment (often when events escalate into the category of an actual sexual assault) but it certainly isn’t required. In fact, many harassers are pros at passing off their actions as mere play. They may even try to convince the victim that they’re the only person who doesn’t appreciate their “humor.”
If you’ve fallen victim to any form of sexual harassment in the workplace, you don’t have to accept that kind of treatment. Talk to an attorney who understands what you’ve gone through and get some guidance regarding what steps to take next.