Many people are victims of sexual harassment in the workplace and may not even know it. All they might know is that someone in their office or work space says or does something that makes them uncomfortable due to the sexual overtones associated with their coworker’s actions. It is important to educate yourself as to what is sexual harassment in the workplace, and for you to take legal action if you are a victim of sexual harassment. No one should ever have to feel uncomfortable due to sex while trying to work and earn a living.
What Are Examples of Workplace Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment in the workplace is prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Many things can constitute sexual harassment. As a general rule of thumb, any action, conduct or speech that is unwelcome and inappropriate that carries a sexual reference or overtone can be considered sexual harassment if it causes an employee/victim to be uncomfortable in the workplace, or has a negative impact on the employee/victim’s work environment.
A few specific examples of sexual harassment include an employee:
- Viewing or displaying obscene materials, pictures, or videos in the workplace in front of other employees who do not wish to be exposed to such materials.
- Making cat calls, whistles, inappropriate gestures or leering at an employee who does not want such sexual attention.
- Making sexual innuendos to fellow employees.
- Asking intrusive sexually explicit questions about a fellow employee.
- Rating a fellow employee based on a sexual characteristic.
- Making inappropriate or sexually suggestive sounds or noises to other employees.
- Inappropriate and unwanted physical touching, patting, hugging, messages, etc. of a colleague.
- Sending suggestive or sexually explicit letters, emails or making calls to a fellow employee.
- Engaging in sexually-based name calling of a fellow employee.
- Ridiculing a fellow employee’s sex.
- Telling dirty or erotic stories or jokes in the workplace.
- Pressuring or extorting an employee into a date or sexual favors.
Sexual Harassment Causes Psychological and Emotional Harm
Victims of sexual harassment experience a lot of challenging emotions and psychological reactions to workplace sexual harassment. When a worker is so disturbed, distraught or uncomfortable in the workplace due to sexual harassment, the worker’s performance can be impacted, the worker could hate going to work, and could suffer other psychological harm.
Victims of sexual harassment often suffer psychological harm, examples of which can include:
- Severe embarrassment.
- Issues with self-respect.
- Issues involving reputation and self-worth.
Harm that sexual harassment victims can suffer that is more tangible than psychological harm can include:
- Low productivity.
- Absenteeism from work.
- Loss of their job if the harassment impacts their ability to perform their job.
- Loss of their job because they cannot stand working in their work environment any more.
Call Now For A Free Initial Consultation
The Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline works closely with our sexual harassment clients to help them get the recovery they need for the harassment that they have had to endure. Contact our Chicago, Illinois sexual harassment attorneys today for a free consultation regarding your situation.