Sexual Harassment at Work

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
                                                                                                                     Abraham Lincoln

business woman man couple sexual harassment silhouetteIf it’s not the oldest story it has to be close. When one man is given power over another, there will be temptation to abuse such power. The workplace is certainly no exception to this rule. If only United Employees Law Group had been there.  You may remember some of these harassment cases that made the news.

Top 5 Sexual Harassment Tricks to Look Out For:

# One: The Sexually Charged Workplace. This comes in many forms, but the internet has added in a large component, with easily accessible pornography and inappropriate jokes. These may seem amusing to some, but they can quickly create a hostile work environment.

# Two: Those Unwanted Invitations. If a boss, supervisor, manager or even co-worker attempts to solicit sexual or even just social activity from a subordinate or co-worker in exchange for favors, such as continued employment, a promotion, or other trade-off.  While this is usually perpetrated by a superior, it can also be a co-worker.

# Three: Social Media.  In some cases, a manager or co-worker will make attempts to contact, follow or “friend” you repeatedly and inappropriately through Facebook,  LinkedIN, or Twitterfor reasons that have nothing to do with your job.

# Four: Blackmail-Information Abuse. When a co-worker or supervisor uses information they are privy to in your personal file to coerce you into behavior that makes you uncomfortable.

# Five: Curious-Sexual Inquiries. When other employees or managers in your workplace make inquires or have conversations about another’s sexual activities, history or identity.

Clearly, some forms of harassment are much more obvious than others, but it all has one thing in common, it is offensive and illegal. Documenting each instance of harassment is extremely important. I advise you to WRITE IT ALL DOWN. The Guide bellow will help.

This is a good breakdown:

*Who: Both the harasser and the witnesses are important.

*What: Write down as much detail as possible about the behavior that made you feel harassed.

*When: Detailed dates and times can help us find additional witnesses and even surveillance footage.

*Where: The precise location can help establish witnesses and surveillance video as well as determine the perpetrator’s presence.

Have you been harassed at your workplace?

It can be difficult to put a dollar amount on how someone else made you feel. Thankfully there are many laws, both in California and Federally, that help you establish the harassment and protect you at work.

These laws are changing to better protect victims. As of 2014 the definition of harassment was expanded, stating the harasser does not need to have any sexual desire as motive for harassment to give the victim cause for a harassment case. The harasser can not claim no sexual interest as a dismissal of sexual harassment.

There Are TWO General Types of Harassment:iStock_000019071831XSmall

  1. “Quid pro quo,” is a trade of some kind, literally meaning, this for that. This type of harassment usually involves a trade of sexual favors for work related advantage. If you were offered a promotion or position for dates or sexual acts, etc.
  2. A Hostile Work Environment, is a workplace made uncomfortable for one or more employees due to the inappropriate behavior of one or more co-workers, regardless of position. No actual sexual activity is necessary for a hostile workplace to exist, and often this is an institutionalized problem, meaning it is wide spread and the management either participates or ignores the behavior.

These laws are numerous and need to be carefully examined with regards to each individual case. We can sort through the details for you and give you real answers to your questions about sexual harassment and your rights at work.

The advances in today’s technology have made it easier to prove these types of harassment cases, but you still have to take a stand and speak up. We will be your advocate! You are also protected from retaliation at work any time you file a complaint that is truthful. There is NO COST or obligation. Call today for a confidential review of your situation.

Learn more about sexual harassment in the workplace here:



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