When people think of sexual harassment in the workplace, they may first think of obvious forms of this type of behavior, such as inappropriate touching. Today, sexual harassment is often much more subtle, which is one reason so many people fail to report it. Many employees feel as though actions they are subjected to are inappropriate, but they do not know if it rises to the level of sexual harassment. It is important that all employees feel safe and comfortable when they go to work, and so, it is critical to understand what qualifies as workplace sexual harassment.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act defines two types of sexual harassment that occur in the workplace. These are as follows:
Even when sexual harassment takes one of the two above forms, it is sometimes difficult to pinpoint whether a certain action qualifies as sexual harassment in the workplace. This is particularly true when the harassment falls under the category of hostile work environment.
Some types of sexual harassment in the workplace are obvious, such as slapping someone on their behind or otherwise touching them without their consent. Other times though, it is much more subtle. Some examples of sexual harassment that are not as obvious are as follows:
When the courts consider whether a hostile work environment was created, they will not only take the feelings of the person subjected to it into consideration, but also how another reasonable person would feel. For example, if one employee told a coworker they liked their outfit one day, that employee may feel offended, but another person likely would not. That would not mean the action would rise to the level of creating a hostile work environment. The action must also occur on a regular basis and not just a one-time event.
Sexual harassment in the workplace too often goes unreported. If you feel as though you have been a victim of it, our Columbus employment lawyers at Marshall Forman & Schlein LLC, are here to help you make it right. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled attorneys.
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