How to Recognize Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Sexual harassment can cost a company millions and damage employee morale. Nip it in the bud by identifying it early with this information.
Step 1: Identify sexualized social environments Identify sexualized social environments, such as ones where sexual joking is prevalent.
Step 2: Recognize quid pro quo harassment Recognize that any unwelcome sexual activity that the harasser ties to employment decisions or benefits qualifies as quid pro quo sexual harassment under federal law.
TIP: A supervisor asking for a date in exchange for a promotion is practicing quid pro quo harassment.
Step 3: Spot a hostile work environment Familiarize yourself with what constitutes a hostile, offensive, or intimidating work environment, such as vulgar language, sexual innuendoes, pornography, or inappropriate physical contact.
Step 4: Document harassing conduct Document harassing conduct, particularly if the perpetrator is a supervisor. Log each incident, including dates, times, and witnesses’ names.
TIP: Men suffer sexual harassment, too, especially those whom others perceive as less masculine.
Step 5: Remember collateral victims Remember that the victim of sexual harassment does not have to be the person harassed but could be anyone that the offensive conduct affects.
Step 6: Count on frequency Count on frequency to prove harassment – the courts will not consider one isolated incident harassment unless the conduct was extreme.
FACT: Did you know? Almost half of all working women have experienced some form of harassment on the job.