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5 kinds of sexual harassment at work

On Behalf of | Apr 21, 2023 | Sexual Harassment At Work

male coworker putting his arm around a female coworker making her uncomfortable

Workers have a right to a safe environment. One way that may not occur is because an employee feels unsafe after experiencing sexual harassment. 

Sexual harassment can happen in a number of ways. Here’s how you can identify if you’re a victim of sexual harassment:

1. Texting in the middle of the night

Many employees have group chats with their co-workers. This helps ensure everyone’s shifts are covered or for a multitude of reasons. However, these texts should be limited within work hours and outside work hours at reasonable times. However, an employer or co-worker who privately messages an employee late at night may be doing it for inappropriate reasons. 

2. Unprompted sexual comments

Many people compliment others. This can often improve people’s moods and morale. However, some comments may step over the line and turn from kind and heartwarming to inappropriate behavior. Someone making a comment on someone’s outfit, for example, may not be an issue. But a comment about how someone is aroused by someone’s outfit may make the other person feel uncomfortable.

3. Jokes with sexual nature

Much like unprompted sexual comments, jokes can go from funny to tasteless fast. Jokes should be enjoyed by others. But a joke with a sexual nature could make someone feel unsafe.

4. Online stalking

Nearly everyone has a digital footprint. People have social media accounts. But, there’s also a lot of private information that can be found on others. A worker may take advantage of the internet and find personal information on others, such as relatives or addresses, that can be used for stalking. Another kind of stalking that can occur is constant inappropriate comments on social media accounts. 

5. Employer retaliation 

Employees may be punished after they report sexual harassment, especially if the accused is highly-placed or valued. Employers may try to hide sexual harassment to protect the reputation of a business. When this happens, employees may need to learn about their legal options and take drastic measures to protect themselves.