Sexual harassment is a common problem. But it is an often-misunderstood problem. Many individuals have misconceptions about workplace sexual harassment: what it is, what it is not, etc.
Let’s take a look at some common misconceptions about sexual harassment:
- Sexual harassment only occurs between a man and a woman: Sexual harassment can occur between members of the same sex.
- Sexual harassment only affects women: Women and men alike can be victims of sexual harassment; and women and men alike can be the initiators of sexual harassment.
- Sexual harassment only involves touching: Sexual harassment is more than just touching. Making inappropriate comments or jokes, showing pornographic images on a computer, staring or leering at someone’s body – all of these can be considered sexual harassment.
- The conduct has to happen several times to be considered sexual harassment: Sexual harassment can be an isolated incident or occur over time.
- It’s not sexual harassment because it was meant as a compliment or a joke: Saying something inappropriate at work – even if it is meant as a joke or a compliment – does not make it okay. These comments may be considered sexual harassment.
- All victims see themselves as victims: It can be easy to “explain away” inappropriate behavior by a colleague. Not all people experiencing sexual harassment see themselves as victims. Regardless of the label of “victim”, sexual harassment is illegal and wrong. The law protects the person experiencing sexual harassment and holds the employer responsible for stopping the behavior.
Sexual harassment at work does not have to be tolerated. However, it is not always easy to speak out or take action as someone experiencing it.
Bononi Law Group, LLP, protects people who are experiencing all types of sexual harassment at work. If you wish to discuss your situation in a confidential consultation with an attorney, please call us for a free consultation: 866-295-7512.