How Remote Work Has Impacted Sexual Harassment

How Remote Work Has Impacted Sexual Harassment

September, 2021

The pandemic impacted people in many different ways, and one of the biggest was that millions of people started working remotely. It is natural to assume that these remote work situations would reduce the amount of sexual harassment that occurs in the workplace but unfortunately, that is not true. Many stories have made headlines about people that have exposed themselves while remotely working, or that have even gone to the bathroom while they were on camera. 

For every reported story though, there are hundreds of more cases. This is why it is so important that all employees are aware of remote sexual harassment and the rights they have to be protected from it.

Online Sexual Harassment has Increased Over the Years

The coronavirus pandemic had many more people starting to work from home in an attempt to reduce the spread of the virus. Working remotely posed many different challenges for employees, as they started to use Zoom for meetings, and had to coordinate their work through emails alone. While many people did not expect sexual harassment to be one of the difficulties they faced while working remotely, workers are now learning this type of behavior can also go virtual.

Truthfully, the pandemic only highlighted a problem that many people already faced. According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, almost 41% of participants had experienced online sexual harassment in 2017, years before the pandemic hit. Clearly, this type of erroneous behavior happens far more often than people think. As such, it is important that all Ohio employees recognize it as a common occurrence, and that they know how to identify it when it happens.

Recognizing Online Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

It is important to know that even when you are working remotely from home or another location, you are still technically at work and so, the employment laws of the state still apply. Workers can hold employers liable when they engage in sexual harassment in the workplace, or allow others to, but first workers must be able to identify when it is happening. Some of the most common examples of virtual sexual harassment are as follows:

  • Sending an inappropriate message, including the inappropriate use of emojis
  • Virtual stalking
  • Sharing photos of a sexual nature
  • Demanding or requesting video chats after business hours
  • Failure to adhere to the dress code during video chats
  • Using sexually derogatory terms or gender-based terms when speaking about another person

Virtual sexual harassment can occur in a number of ways, and it does not always happen during a video call. Inappropriate emails, text messages, social media, and other virtual forms of communication can also play a part in sexual harassment cases.

Call Our Sexual Harassment Lawyers in Ohio Now

If you have been the victim of harassment in the workplace, our Ohio sexual harassment lawyers at Marshall & Forman, LLC, are here to help with your case. Our seasoned attorneys know how to identify sexual harassment when it occurs, and will advise on the options available to you for filing a claim or complaint against your employer. Call us now or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more about how we can help with your case.