Sexual harassment is becoming more and more present and it is time for people to start learning more about it. Unfortunately, most people don’t know how to react when faced with such a situation and we would like to change this.
You probably don’t know, but sexual harassment is typically described in two ways:
- Quid pro quo, which refers to a situation in which a person who occupies a position of power communicates that an employment decision has been made based on satisfying a sexual demand of an employee. Example: “You will get a promotion if you go on a date with me”.
- Hostile work environment, which refers to unwanted, severe or pervasive behavior. This is more nuanced but just as common as the quid pro quo sexual harassment.
Now that you know what the law sees as sexual harassment, we would like to share a few important things that you should know about it.
1. People don’t realize that sexual harassment comes in many forms. We would like to share some sexual harassment examples for San Diego, so here they are:
- Making sexually offensive remarks or gestures
- Blocking a person’s movements
- Staring at a person’s body up and down
- Telling jokes with sexual meanings or sharing stories of sexual experiences
- Following a person around
- Intentionally brushing up against a person
- Sending suggestive emails or phone messages.
These are just a few examples of what counts as sexual harassment but it is important to know that the list is actually much longer. If you have had some unpleasant experiences at the workplace and you think that they count as sexual harassment but you are not quite sure of it, don’t suffer in silence. Professionals such as the experts at Walker Law are ready to guide you and answer all your questions.
2. We don’t exactly know, in official numbers, how common sexual harassment is but there is one thing we know for sure: the numbers are high and they seem to get higher and higher with every year that passes.
3. If you find yourself in a sexual harassment situation, there are several actions you can take in order to protect yourself and also put an end to it. You can, for example, address the situation to your team lead or manager. In case you are afraid of the fact that the manager is aware of the situation but chooses not to do anything about it, then it is time for the HR department to be implied as well. You can go even further and ask for the help and guidance of a law firm such as Walker Law.
4. If your employer retaliates, then that’s illegal too.
Keep in mind that there is a very strict law on sexual harassment and the law protects you. Take advantage of it, as you have rights and they need to be respected. Ask for legal advice if you feel that you are overwhelmed with the situation and let the attorney handle this on your behalf.