Sexual harassment has been recognized as a form of workplace discrimination which is defined as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.” It can range from a few harsh words in an office to repeated unwanted touching to more severe assault. Sexual harassment has created many victims and has led to the termination of the harasser and major changes in policies. Therefore, it is essential that you consult a Sexual Harassment Attorney to understand your rights as a victim of sexual harassment.
We will now see into different forms of sexual harassment at workplaces.
Asking out on dates
This is a very common form of sexual harassment. It can range from asking for dates to taking your lunch breaks or even creating a work date with you. You will have no choice in refusing the harassment after being asked out on the first date. This kind of behavior is very subtle and you cannot prove it. Many women are hesitant in reporting this kind of harassment because they fear that they will be perceived as arrogant or too sensitive.
Insulting your physical appearance
This is probably the most common form of sexual harassment. It is a very subtle form of harassment. The harasser will make unwanted comments about their looks or observations of their body. Women tend to bear many insults without complaining because they are afraid that they will be perceived as arrogant. Moreover, they do not know how to deal with the situation and get back at the harasser with dignity.
Making jokes or telling stories of a lewd or sexual nature
This is very common in small offices with few employees. For instance, you will hear stories about sexual conquests and trysts. The annoyance will be sensed if the story is told again and again by the same person. Sometimes these stories have sexual overtones that can make you uncomfortable.
Threatening to fire you or to spread false and malicious rumors if you do not perform sexual favors
This is a very serious form of sexual harassment which occurs in bigger offices. It is the most threatening to you and your career. The harasser will make it clear that you need to perform sexual favors in order to keep your job or a promotion. The harasser will also threaten to spread rumors and lies about you if you dare speak out against their harassment.