sexual harassment at work
Employment Law

What do you do when faced with sexual harassment at work in the US?

| June 22, 2023

Your workplace is a place you tend to spend a lot of time throughout the day. You should not be subjected to sexual harassment while you are trying to earn a living. 

It is very unfortunate if you have faced any kind of sexual harassment while being at your workplace. 

This article will discuss your rights and ways you can respond to sexual harassment at work. 

What Is Sexual Harassment In The Workplace?

Sexual harassment in the workplace can take various forms. The crime can come from a co-worker, manager, client, or customer. 

Workplace sexual harassment ranges from inappropriate comments or jokes, unwanted touching, or someone offering you a promotion in exchange for sexual favors. 

Sexual harassment does not always have to be ‘sexual’ in nature. It can often look like intimidation, teasing, or offensive comments based on stereotypes. It can also involve bullying someone based on one’s sexual orientation, sex, or gender identity. 

In some circumstances, sexual harassment also results based on one’s race and ethnicity. This can lead to the woman being a target of harassment based on her sex, race, and ethnicity. 

Examples Of Behaviour That Amounts To Sexual Harassment At Workplace

There are a variety of behaviors that amounts to sexual harassment in the workplace. 

These behaviors include but do not limit to: 

  • Making unwanted requests for sexual favors or dates. 
  • Making inappropriate comments on someone’s appearance or body. 
  • Making statements or making fun of a particular group like ‘all women are, or all gays tend to be.’ 
  • Using slurs based on gender or sexual identity. 
  • Gossiping about someone’s personal relationship or sex life. 
  • Sending, displaying, or sharing vulgar pictures. 
  • Staring, leering, or making motions of sexual nature.  
  • Unwanted or inappropriate touching of someone’s face, hair, or body that includes kissing, hugging, or assault. 

What Are Your Rights If Faced With Sexual Harassment At Work?

If you have been sexually harassed at your workplace, then you have various rights that enable you to report the incident to the given authorities. 

The rights you hold in the workplace if sexually harassed are as follows: 

  1. You have the right to work in a safe and non-discriminatory environment. This means that no one has the right to turn hostile on you based on your sex.
  2. You have the right to know about the sexual harassment policy in your employment. Along with the ways you can report an incident. 
  3. You have the right to speak out against sexual harassment. This means you have the right to raise your voice against sexual harassment faced by you or your colleagues to the authorities. 
  4. You have the right to report the sexual harassment to your HR or boss. It is advised that you raise the complaint first internally. 
  5. You also have the right to take legal action regarding sexual harassment with the assistance of the ‘National Labor Relations Act,’ an employment law protecting you from unlawful work practises. 
  6. You also have the right of the person being informed to take your complaints seriously and start an investigation on the same. 
  7. You have the right to file charges with a government agency. If you are not satisfied with the action of your employer after the complaint, you can file charges with theEqual Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).’
  8. You also have the right to take legal action against your employer if you have been retaliated against by your employer. This will be applicable if your complaint against the occurrence of sexual harassment leads you to be demoted, terminated, changed shifts, or taken away from benefits. 

How Do You Respond To Sexual Harassment In The Workplace?

If you have been sexually harassed in your workplace, it is vital that you are aware of your rights. Along with the ways you can respond to harassment. 

Here are the ways you can respond to the sexual harassment you have faced at work: 

  • You can speak with the person who is harassing you to stop the act which you are not liking. You are advised to stay assertive while speaking to them to show their behavior is unwelcome. 
  • You are advised to keep track of the events. You can write them down along with noting down the relevant incidents to remember effectively. 
  • You can talk to someone you trust regarding the incident you are facing. The ability to speak to someone about such circumstances can be helpful to you mentally. 
  • Make a formal complaint to the authorities within your organization. These can include your HR or your manager. This will lead to an investigation regarding the harassment. 
  • You can also proceed to file a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) if you feel your employer is not taking the necessary action to resolve the situation. 
  • You can also take legal action against your employer and the harasser if you are required to be compensated for the damage that has occurred due to the harassment. 

Final Thoughts!

Facing sexual harassment while you are trying to earn a living can be both humiliating and emotionally distressing. 

Due to this, it is advised that you raise your voice against the harasser to the concerned authorities. 

If you feel that your employer is not taking the appropriate steps to stop sexual harassment at work, then it is better to seek legal help. 

You can take advice from a personal injury lawyer if you or someone you know have faced sexual harassment at work. 

A personal injury lawyer will assist and guide you throughout the process of filing a formal complaint, along with representing you in a court of law.

Read More:

Spread the love

Jyoti Jha
Jyoti Jha

Jyoti Jha is a freelance SEO content writer for tech , health, and education-related content. With 5 years of experience in the industry, I am creating high-quality content that captivates readers and delivers value.


2 Replies to “What do you do when faced with sexual harassment at work in the US?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *