What does the term “sexual harassment” include? Is it only touching?
Sexual harassment is not limited to just physical touching. Sexual harassment is unwelcome or unwanted sexual advances, comments, physical touching (of you or others in your presence), requests for sexual favors or other physical or verbal behavior of a sexual nature. Harassment is unwelcome or unwanted conduct that is severe or pervasive enough that a reasonable person would find it to be a difficult, offensive or hostile environment to work in.
What should I do if I think I’m being sexually harassed at my work?
If you believe that you are being sexually harassed and/or are uncomfortable with the way someone talks to you or treats you at work, you should tell the person or harasser that you are uncomfortable and would like it to stop. You should also report it to a manager, superior or to the HR Dept. If you are not comfortable telling the harasser to stop, then go straight to HR or your supervisor. Make sure you confirm any oral conversations with an email so there is a record.
If I have reported sexual harassment to HR or my manager and nothing was done, what should I do next?
You should contact an attorney to discuss your specific situation and determine what your next step should be and what your legal options are.
Can sexual harassment be by someone of the same sex or is it only male vs female?
Sexual harassment can happen in any form as far as gender. Sexual harassment is illegal whether the harasser is a man harassing a man or a woman or if the harasser is a woman harassing a man or a woman.
If I’m being sexually harassed by someone at work and some of the harassment has happened away from the office, is the company still liable for that?
If the harassment is ongoing and the company is aware of the harassment and has not taken steps to remedy the situation then all the harassment at work and outside of work is relevant and the company may be liable.
I am worried about losing my job if I report the sexual harassment, what should I do?
You should still report the harassment to a superior or to HR. The company is not liable for the harassment if they are not aware of or informed about it.
Is the company still liable if I am being harassed by a co-worker as opposed to my boss or someone in management?
Yes, but for the company to be liable, they must know or should have reason to know about the harassment and failed to take prompt and appropriate corrective action.
My boss or superior often tells me inappropriate personal things about their sex life or makes offensive jokes & it makes me very uncomfortable but the comments of a sexual nature aren’t directed at me. Is this sexual harassment?
Yes, this can be a form of sexual harassment.
When should I contact an attorney if I think that I’m being sexually harassed?
You should contact an attorney immediately if you think you are being harassed to discuss your situation and determine your options and legal rights.
What constitutes a hostile work environment?
A hostile work environment is a workplace where any reasonable person would feel the surroundings are intimidating, abusive, severe or preventing them from completing work tasks in a normal manner or affecting their work environment in a negative way.