While it might not readily spring to mind when you think about sexual harassment in the workplace, it is important to know that you don’t have to be an employee to be a victim of sexual harassment. Many applicants and interviewees find themselves being subjected to sexual harassment.
Examples of Pre-Employment Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment takes many forms, and when an applicant for a job experiences these, he or she may have a viable claim. Indeed, sexual pre-employment sexual harassment may include:
- Offering a job that is contingent upon receipt of sexual favors.
- Implying that the job offer is contingent upon going on a date with the interviewer.
- Being subjected to comments or jokes of a sexual nature during an interview.
- Being asked questions of a sexual nature, even as a joke, during an interview or as part of the application process.
- Being inappropriately touched by an interviewer.
Sexual harassment is not restricted to harassment across gender lines. A man can sexually harass another man, or a woman could sexually harass another woman during an interview.
Rising to the Level of Harassment
The law is specific on offering protection from sexual harassment. While teasing or off-handed comments are not necessarily sexual harassment, blatantly sexual comments and derogatory harassment are. Sexual harassment that is repetitive or severe is illegal. When harassment rises to the level that it causes a hostile work environment, or leads to adverse employment decisions, victims likely have a cause of action and should consult with a sexual harassment lawyer.
For example, if sexual harassment during an interview causes a prospective employee to be so uncomfortable that he or she can’t answer questions or is visibly upset, it is serious and could affect a hiring decision. Similarly, if getting a job is dependent on the applicant actively being a victim of sexual harassment, such as submitting to sexual favors, the harassment is serious enough to effect a hiring decision.
Call Now For A Free Initial Consultation
Sexual harassment in the workplace is a real problem and even job applicants can be subjected to sexual harassment. The Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline understands the complexity of sexual harassment claims and can assist you if you have been a victim of workplace sexual harassment. Contact our Chicago, Illinois sexual harassment lawyer today for a free consultation regarding your specific circumstances.