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Don't be fooled by subtle sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is sexual harassment. Nevertheless, some people don't notice what's going on in it's earliest stages. They might think of it as something subtle and barely worth taking note of, but if it continues, the subtle behavior can quickly escalate into an unbearable workplace situation.

It's important to recognize subtle sexual harassment and speak up to make it stop as quickly as you possibly can. Here's what to look out for:

  • Sexist behavior: You might hear a comment from a coworker about why you can't do a certain job because of the way you look, or because of your sex. Or, maybe someone will say that you received a promotion because you're good looking. You might laugh off a comment like that, but these comments are highly inappropriate inside any California workplace.
  • Allegedly harmless flirting: We have to deal with all kinds of flirting, no matter who we are. It might be a compliment here or there. A compliment about your dress, your shoes, or your makeup could go unnoticed. Pretty soon, though, the comments start to deal with your breasts, your legs or other areas of your body -- and it's starting to make you feel awful at work.
  • Bullying through seniority: Imagine your superior asks you out to dinner. You say, "no," but he persists, saying, "Are you sure you don't want to go to dinner with the big boss?" This is clearly sexual harassment, and it's probably the least subtle on this list.
  • Bad online behavior: Are your co-workers or superiors trying to communicate with your via unprofessional online communication routes, like Facebook or Snapchat, and at late hours? This could be a form subtle sexual harassment to watch out for.

Always discourage and directly ask the perpetrator to stop any form of subtle harassment immediately. This will help prevent it from escalating or getting worse, and it may prevent the need for pursuing a sexual harassment lawsuit later on down the line.

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