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Recognizing sexual harassment in the workplace

| Feb 26, 2021 | Employment Law

Workplace identity and culture can differ between industries and locations. Whereas one Oregon employer may have an open policy toward communication between supervisors and workers, others may have more rigid structures in place for determining where in a hierarchy certain conversations should happen. When it comes to sexual harassment, all workers should know how and to whom concerns should be communicated.

When a worker believes that they have been victimized through workplace sexual harassment, they should know that they have rights. This post will cover some situations in which sexual harassment may appear at work. All readers are asked to contact their own employment law attorneys for help with their specific cases, though, as this post does not offer any legal advice.

Obvious signs of sexual harassment

In some circumstances, victims of workplace sexual harassment may experience clear and explicit sexually inappropriate communications. They may be inappropriately touched, subjected to inappropriate comments, or a witness to sexually inappropriate material. Through their presence at work they may be subjected to sexually degrading content that is both inappropriate and unwelcome.

Latent signs of sexual harassment

More often, though, sexual harassment at work may be hidden. Instead of a supervisor clearly making a sexually inappropriate comment to a worker, the supervisor may preface a promise to give a worker a raise on the condition that the worker go on a date with them. Instead of a worker being subjected to inappropriate comments about their body, they may be told seemingly inappropriate comments about the way they dress or present themselves.

Whether sexual harassment is overt or covert, it is a problem and damaging to an employee. When a worker feels as though the conduct they are subject to in their place of employment is inappropriate in a sexual nature, they may be a victim of sexual harassment. Their trusted employment law attorney can advise them of how to protect their rights and assert their legal options to seek relief from their harassers.