Sexual harassment is a serious concern in and out of the workplace. In the workplace, everybody is expected to behave in a professional manner. This means that physical and verbal conduct must remain in line with professional expectations, ensuring that the environment is not hostile and that it does not promote a quid pro quo environment in which sexual favors are rewarded.
These are just a few examples of sexual harassment that may occur in the workplace.
If somebody reports that they are uncomfortable with another individual's behavior, they may have a sexual harassment claim. These behaviors often include touching, hugging, and kissing. These behaviors are not appropriate for work when unwanted, as is any other form of touching.
This behavior does not have to be physical or spoken. In fact, it can also apply to visual and written behaviors. A note, a poem, or a photo can also be a form of harassment. Some of these unwanted and unnecessary behaviors can be construed as intimidation. Perhaps somebody might take these unwanted behaviors as a threat or feel that if he or she brushes off the advances their job may be at risk.
Comments About Bodies
If an individual is constantly making comments about somebody body, appearance, or even their clothing, it may constitute sexual harassment. These comments don't have to be overtly sexual, but they could still make somebody feel uncomfortable.
What appears to be a joke to one person is incredibly inappropriate to another. Even if somebody is just "joking" about sexual behavior, he or she may still be harassing another employee. Many employers will address the role of humor in sexual harassment during regular meetings, but it is also important to understand that these jokes are often not appropriate for work and could be construed as harassing.
What Can You Do About Sexual Harassment?
One of the first things you might do if you are experiencing harassment at work is to speak with the perpetrator or your manager. If you still have questions about how to report this behavior, make sure to take a look at your employee manual or code of conduct. Human Resources should be able to help you find this information as well.
If the harassment persists, log each instance. Witnesses can also log what they have seen. Harassment still happening? It may be time to consult with a sexual harassment attorney. An attorney will ensure that you follow the proper steps to file a harassment lawsuit appropriately.
I'll be up front: I have a criminal record. As someone who's spent lots--and lots--of time looking for a job in my life, I've gotten used to being up front with this fact. It's difficult to get hired with this on my record, and frankly, it never gets less scary to have to tell an interviewer about it. But that doesn't mean I'm unemployable. I'm a hard worker who can bring a lot to any company. And I also know what an employer needs to do for me. I know my rights. There's no federal law protecting me from discrimination due to my record, but there are plenty of state laws that make it a little easier for me. If you're looking for a job and you have a criminal record, read through this information. Protect yourself during a job search. Know your rights.