Sexual harassment and sexual assault are two serious issues that workplaces
have to constantly be on the lookout for. Unfortunately, despite a culture
which encourages anonymous whistleblowers and reporting those who perpetrate
these acts, a number of people will still refuse to come forward, leaving
perpetrators to walk away consequence-free. However, you can help your
co-workers who may be the victim of this harassment by learning some of
the signs that they may be the victim of harassment and then speaking
up for them.
Here are just a few of the most obvious signs of sexual harassment that
everybody should know.
Comments & Remarks – if you notice one co-worker constantly making remarks that refer
to a person’s physical appearance or genitalia, that person could
be guilty of sexual harassment, especially if the remarks are directly
to the person.
Inappropriate Touching – There are appropriate ways of touching other co-workers, such
as shaking hands, the more modern “fist-bump”, or even a hug
when appropriate or between close friends. However, touching someone’s
genitalia, stroking them softly, giving unwanted massages, and more are
all inappropriate for the workplace and often constitute sexual harassment.
Making Inappropriate Requests – Let’s not pretend that romances like Jim and Pam from
The Office just don’t happen: an overwhelming number of former or even current
co-workers begin to develop relationships outside of work. However, a
co-worker repeatedly asking another one out or even being more blunt and
requesting sex is easily considered sexual harassment.
Sexually Graphic Material – Co-workers have to exchange contact information for a variety
of reasons, and it’s not unheard of for some co-workers to abuse
this privilege. Sending sexually-graphic material via electronic communication
(text messages, email address, or other methods) is sexual harassment.
Sexually Explicit Literature – You know that chain email with a dirty joke that probably shouldn’t
be passed around the office in the first place? You probably shouldn’t
be forwarding it at all, and forwarding it to someone could be considered
Sexual harassment is a serious issue, one which workplaces around the country
are taking massive steps to try to prevent. Companies have an obligation
to take action when someone reports an employee for sexual harassment,
including conducting an investigation. It’s also not a bad idea
to have a legal representative involved if you have been harassed to ensure
you are not unjustly retaliated against, as supervisors have been known
to attempt to fire subordinates who reported them for their sexual harassment actions.
An Atlanta employment attorney can help you with your case! Call Buckley
Beal, LLP today at (404) 471-3725 to request a
case evaluation and get help with your workplace harassment issue.