Sexual harassment should never happen at all, but unfortunately, it does. No one should have to go to work and fear that they will become the victim of workplace harassment. There are various ways that sexual harassment is inflicted on someone else, and in every instance it should be brought to light so that the perpetrator can be held accountable for their actions. It isn’t uncommon for victims to experience mental anguish and trauma from an incident that should have never happened in the first place. If you find yourself in a harmful situation at work, it is strongly encouraged that you file a report with the police department and reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible. Our friends at Cohen & Cohen go into further details below.
Fear and Discomfort
It isn’t uncommon for victims of sexual harassment to not even realize a coworker’s conduct is wrong. Understanding what sexual harassment looks like and how it makes people feel can help identify it right away as its happening. Sexual harassment entails sexualized language, behavior, or environment that it negatively impacts someone’s ability to work. This is true whether or not the perpetrator intended to make someone uncomfortable purposefully or not. Anyone who is experiencing sexualized messages, discomfort, or inappropriate behavior must report it to their human resources department or a supervisor they trust. For additional protection, it helps to have a lawyer intervene so that the situation is handled accordingly.
Workplaces should never tolerate verbal, written, gestures, or jokes that have a sexualized nature. By allowing such behavior, it permits sexual harassment and can contribute to an uncomfortable working environment. Jokes that are demeaning to someone due to their gender identity, sex, or sexual orientation are types of sexual harassment. Employees are entitled to protect themselves and pursue action through their employer’s human resources department or other methods of reporting sexual harassment. If sexualized jokes are stopped from the start, then the workplace can continue to feel safe for everyone.
Quid Pro Quo
Essentially, quid pro quo means “this for that” and is when someone demands sexual engagement from the victim in exchange for a promotion, pay raise, or other benefit. One of the most unfortunate things about workplace sexual harassment is that if it is allowed once, it can exacerbate. Victims may be groomed in such a way that they do not view an interaction as sexual harassment. Those who are the recipients of unwanted sexual attention, touching, jokes, repeated requests for dates, or other lewd conduct are advised to report the offense immediately and get protection from an employment litigation lawyer so the matter can be handled appropriately.
No one deserves to be the victim of sexual harassment. The experience can be demeaning, violating, and traumatizing. Those who are concerned that sexual harassment could be happening to them at their workplace can seek counsel from a reputable law firm in their area. After reporting the incident to authorities and the human resources department, a lawyer can ensure the victim is compensated for what they have been through.