When you go to work, you expect to perform your job duties in a professional environment free of harassment. But this does not always happen, and sexual harassment is common in workplaces nationwide.
According to a survey conducted by Stop Street Harassment, approximately 43% of men and 81% of women have experienced some form of sexual harassment in their lifetime. Watch out for these signs to determine if you are a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace.
1. Unwanted physical contact
When another person kisses, hugs, grabs, pats, touches or engages in other unwanted physical acts of a sexual nature, this can fall under the category of sexual harassment. Although the person making the unwanted contact may view his or her actions as innocent, these encounters may be unsettling to you.
2. Inappropriate comments
If someone makes comments about your sexual orientation, gender or gender identity that are inappropriate, you may be a victim of sexual harassment. These comments must happen consistently and harm the professionalism of your work environment.
3. Retaliation after filing a complaint
If you experience sexual harassment at work, your first step should be to report the situation to your company’s HR department or your manager. But if you experience retaliation after filing a complaint, this may make future instances of harassment more frequent.
Your employer must take reasonable steps to prevent and correct instances of sexual harassment in the workplace. If your employer does not take your claims seriously, you may want to take additional action to stop the harassment.