October 29, 2017 Category: Sexual Harassment
Another day, another public figure accused of sexual harassment in the workplace. In the past month, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Roy Moore, and Louis CK have all been accused of using their elite status to prey on young men and women. With each new allegation, it becomes clear that sexual harassment in the workplace is a serious problem in this country.
While no two reports of sexual harassment are the same, this type of behavior often has many of the same signs and behaviors. Do you think that you may be the victim of sexual harassment at work, but aren’t certain? Here are a few common signs of sexual harassment in the workplace.
Your Employer’s or Supervisor’s Physical Conduct Makes You Uncomfortable
Sexual harassment can be difficult to identify, especially if behavior is not outrageous and over-the-top. In some cases, your employer/supervisor may engage in physical contact with you in a way that is written off as “old-timey,” “traditional,” or “supportive.” You may be the victim of subtle sexual harassment because your employer/supervisor engages in behavior that is not overtly sexual, but makes you uncomfortable all the same. Examples of physical conduct that may be the sign of sexual harassment in the workplace include your supervisor/employer:
- Placing his/her hands on your body when speaking with you;
- Invading your personal space;
- Standing too close to you when giving directions; and
- Hovering near you during meetings.
Language Can Create a Hostile Workplace
Sexual harassment does not have to be physical. Language is a powerful tool, and the effect it can have on a person should not be underestimated. This conduct is no less harmful because it has the power to create a hostile environment for you at your place of work. Examples of language that could be considered sexual harassment include a supervisor or employer:
- Making offensive remarks of a sexual nature;
- Making crude jokes of a sexual nature;
- Commenting on your appearance;
- Asking very personal questions about your romantic life; and
- Repeatedly asking you to meet them alone outside of the workplace.
There is Pressure to Allow Harassing Conduct to Continue
If you feel pressured to allow your employer/supervisor to act improperly you may be the victim of sexual harassment. Maybe you feel that you’ll upset the workplace if you speak up and ask your employer/supervisor to stop the behavior that makes you uncomfortable. Maybe you think you’ll be punished for saying something about the improper behavior. Whatever the reason, the very fact that you feel pressured to go along with the behavior that makes you uncomfortable is a red flag.
You Can’t Make the Behavior Stop
Does your workplace have someone you can speak to about the behavior that is making you uncomfortable? Can you report the incident(s) without fear of retaliation and punishment? Many workplaces lack the necessary channels and avenues of support for victims of workplace harassment. This can cause the sexual harassment to worsen over time. As a result, the workplace becomes a more hostile place for you. Many times, victims of sexual harassment sacrifice a promising career to escape a toxic environment and harmful experience.
Consider a Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
If you believe that you have been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace you may be entitled to recover damages by filing a sexual harassment lawsuit. Sexual harassment can result in harms that permeate a victim’s life – including the loss of a prosperous job, deterioration of personal relationships, and even depression. You can hold your employer responsible for his/her actions and recover monetary damages by filing a sexual harassment lawsuit.
Contact the San Jose sexual harassment attorneys at the Briski Law Firm today to learn about how we can help to get you the compensation you deserve. We have been protecting employee rights for more than 25 years, and have helped our clients recover millions in compensation for workplace discrimination and harassment. When you call, we will review your case and determine the best course of legal action. In California, you have a limited amount of time to file a workplace harassment claim, so it is important to act quickly.