What to Know About Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Employees should be able to work without fear of sexual harassment from a coworker or supervisor. It is important to recognize that sexual harassment in the workplace is not just inappropriate and offensive. It is also a federal crime. Harassment at work can occur between many groups of people, including, but not limited to:

  • Two coworkers
  • An employee and a customer or client
  • An employee and his or her supervisor
  • People of the same or different genders

Acts of sexual harassment in the workplace can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Our Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyers represent victims who have experienced a wide range of harassment in the workplace.

Types of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Federal law prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The law applies to companies with 15 or more employees, outlining two types of workplace harassment.

  • Quid pro quo. A Latin term meaning “this for that,” quid pro quo refers to a supervisor making employment decisions based on an employee providing him or her with sexual favors. Examples of quid pro quo include a supervisor threatening to fire an employee or promising a promotion in exchange for sexual activity.
  • Hostile work environment. Any unwelcome physical and/or verbal contact of a sexual nature that impacts an employee’s ability to do his or her job and creates an abusive work environment constitutes a hostile work environment.

What Are Common Examples of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?

Many forms of sexual harassment in the workplace are obvious to spot. However, there are situations where unwanted sexual conduct is subtle and more difficult to expose. Overt examples of sexual harassment include unwanted kissing, touching of private areas, sexually explicit comments, sexually suggestive gestures and being cornered into a tight space.

As the topic of sexual harassment at work continues to gain more awareness, incidents of covert sexual harassment are being reported with higher regularity.

Common examples of workplace sexual harassment include:

  • Sexually explicit comments about one’s body, clothing or behavior
  • Spoken or written communications of a sexual nature, including sex-related jokes
  • Implicit requests for sexual favors
  • Repeated failed attempts to ask a person out on a date
  • Unwanted physical contact, such as kissing, hugging or shoulder rubs
  • Sexual gestures, facial expressions or staring
  • Digital content of a sexual nature, such as emails, photographs or posters

Our Los Angeles Sexual Harassment Lawyers Represent Workplace Victims

Have you experienced or witnessed acts of sexual harassment in the workplace? Our team of Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyers at Kesluk, Silverstein, Jacob & Morrison, P.C. will protect your rights by working to prove inappropriate and illegal acts took place. For complete information, call (310) 273-3180 and speak with a qualified representative for a free consultation about your case.

Additional Reading:

How to Know Your Workplace Conditions Are Unsafe
What Can I Do After Being Sexually Assaulted in the Workplace?

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