In the midst of a heated election season, one issue has abruptly risen to focus in the public eye: sexual harassment. From the high-profile allegations against Trump to the growing complaints of rampant harassment in the National Park Service, women across the country are speaking up against this debasing and unacceptable behavior. However, same-sex harassment in the form of male on male and female on female sexual harassment is just as prevalent.
Unfortunately, far too often, sexual harassment gets swept under the rug – especially in the workplace. The law is clear on this issue. Both state and federal law protect all employees from sexual harassment. Employers have a legal responsibility to help prevent harassment – and take appropriate steps to stop it.
More than touching
What exactly is sexual harassment? It includes much more than unwanted physical contact. You may be a victim of harassment in the workplace if you’ve experienced:
- Inappropriate teasing, jokes or comments of a sexual nature, even if not directed specifically at you
- Lewd gestures, photos, posters or other offensive objects displayed at work
- Unwanted sexual advances, whether verbal or physical
- Pressure to engage in sex in order to get ahead in your job
Understandably, victims are often embarrassed to report what happened. You may be worried about your job or afraid of getting shunned. You may have already filed an internal complaint – only to find that your concerns are minimized or ignored. For these reasons, far too many victims stay silent, even when the law is on their side.
It takes courage to speak up. And it helps to have an ally. An employment lawyer can help you evaluate your options for putting a stop to the harassment and enforcing your rights under the law.