Many acts of sexual harassment take place in work environments, and the abuse can be subtle or obvious. It can start with comments about the victim’s appearance to consistent and unwelcome remarks. This, along with physical contact, such as inappropriate touching or hugging and kissing, constitutes as sexual harassment.
Office parties can breed these types of behaviors with employees having personal conversations, dancing, and participating in team building activities. Alcohol consumption can magnify these actions. Forms of this harassment range from seemingly innocent to outright sexual assault. One offensive remark might be forgotten, but when repeated, it can become a real issue. In fact, minor incidents can lead to serious ones if the behaviors are not addressed early.
Personal questions, even if they start out casually, can be inappropriate. If the questions make someone feel uncomfortable, this is a red flag. An employee does not have to answer these types of inquiries; instead they should be reported. Many abusers use text messages and emails to send suggestive comments and any other writings or pictures with sexual undertones.
A victim should never allow themselves to be alone in a room with a possible abuser. Some abusers can be aggressive and violent, demanding sexual favors in return for salary increases or promotions. These behaviors are very serious and should be reported immediately. Other blatant acts include sexual gestures toward another employee, making lewd comments, sharing pornographic images, and making insults directed at another person’s gender.
Although the #MeToo movement has greatly increased awareness about sexual harassment, many people may not realize they are being victimized. There are certain signs to watch out for, and this can be the first step toward prevention. Larger companies have human resources departments, and this is a good place to start. If not, a trusted supervisor should be informed about the situation.
Certain employees may be uncomfortable speaking up for fear of retaliation. However, there are other resources available, including the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline, which is sponsored by the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). Recognizing sexual harassment and reporting it immediately can go a long way toward halting the cycle of abuse.
Philadelphia Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Provide Legal Guidance for Victims
If you or someone you know was a victim of sexual harassment at work, the knowledgeable Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. can help. For a free consultation, call us at 215-569-1999 or complete an online form today. Located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and South Jersey.