Sexual harassment can take many forms.
The topic of sexual harassment has been a hot one in national news lately, with allegations against political figures, famous entertainers, athletes and others in recent weeks. Women and men alike are sharing their stories of being assaulted, harassed and abused at the hands of employers, supervisors and others, and a conversation is opening up about what it all means for employees in today’s workforce.
NPR recently ran a story about why so many workplace sexual harassment trainings fail. The upshot is that these sessions are not designed to end sexual harassment, but to limit a company’s legal liability for harassment. In other words, employers aren’t really telling their employees not to sexually harass their co-workers — just to do it in ways that won’t lead to lawsuits.
Despite these trainings, workplace sexual harassment continues to flourish in all types of jobs across the country. There are two primary types of sexual harassment. These include what is often viewed as the classic type of sexual harassment, which is known as quid pro quo. In these situations, employment perks or benefits are offered in exchange for an employee agreeing to a supervisor or employer’s sexual advances. For example, a supervisor may offer a clerk a better shift if she agrees to go out on a date with him. The other type of common sexual harassment in workplaces is a hostile work environment, which is what results when there is unwelcome or inappropriate sexual conduct by one or more employees. Hostile work environments can arise when co-workers put up pictures of barely clad or naked women, ask sexual questions, send pornographic images, tell stories or jokes that are inappropriate, or make obscene gestures. These types of actions may not be as blatant as a manager or boss asking out an employee, but they can be pervasive and make an employee feel unsafe at work.
While the recent news has all focused on relatively powerful men, it is important to remember that workplace sexual harassment can happen to anyone, at any type of job site. As seasoned experienced employment discrimination attorneys, we have seen this type of harassment occur in all types of situations, with employees of varying education, income and power levels. Sexual harassment can be committed by anyone, and anyone can be the victim of it — male or female. The important thing is to know that you do have options if you are being subjected to abuse or harassment in the workplace. This includes speaking to an experienced employment discrimination attorney to determine if pursuing a legal claim is possible based on the facts of your case.
At PLBSMH, we have more than forty years of experience helping employees get results for their employment harassment and discrimination cases. We will work hand in hand with you and stand by you through each step of the process. Contact us today at (800) 435-7542 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free initial consultation and learn more bout how we can help.