Victims of sexual harassment should know that they are protected from it in their workplaces. To ensure that they are protected, they should be familiar with examples of sexual harassment and the legal protections available to them.
Examples of sexual harassment
There are different types of sexual harassment all of which are prohibited in the workplace. By being familiar with the different types of sexual harassment, victims can help enforce those protections. Examples of sexual harassment include:
- Making sexual favors a condition of employment whether it is done explicitly or implicitly;
- Requests for sexual favors;
- Physical acts of sexual assault;
- Verbal harassment that is sexual in nature including jokes that refer to sexual acts or sexual orientation;
- Discussing sexual relations, stories and fantasies at work or other inappropriate places;
- Unwelcome sexual advances;
- Unwanted touching a physical contact;
- Feeling pressured to engage sexually;
- Unwanted sexually explicit photos, email or texts; and
- Some other inappropriate sexual behaviors, conduct and contact.
Different forms of sexual harassment are recognized and prohibited in the workplace. Categories of sexual harassment include hostile workplace environment sexual harassment and quid pro quo sexual harassment. Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when someone, usually a superior, requires sexual favors in exchange for advancement or for not terminating the victim. Hostile workplace environment sexual harassment is created when the sexual harassment is so pervasive that it creates a hostile environment. Employment law provides important protections for victims of all types of sexual harassment in the workplace that victims should be aware of.