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What is Sexual Harassment?

April 21st, 2020

Sexual harassment exists in all types of companies and is experienced by employees at all levels, victims could be interns or in senior management. Sexual harassment comes in many forms. At times, it can be blatant; other times, it can come as a stealthy comment that makes a victim question how it should be defined. If sexual harassment is so widespread, why is it hard to distinguish?

The term sexual harassment may be hard to pin down, but its effects are clear. Victims of sexual harassment feels that their worth is measured by their gender and their physical attributes. In a business setting, superficial assessments devalue significant attributes the employee has to offer. In more extreme cases, besides feeling undervalued, an employee may fear retaliation if a complaint about the sexual harassment is filed.

Forms of Sexual Harassment

A victim of sexual harassment is targeted because of their sex. Yet, the harassment is not always an inappropriate sexual advance. While unwelcome requests for sexual favors undoubtedly constitutes as sexual harassment, such inappropriate behaviors may also involve favoritism or gender discrimination. It can be a comment that draws attention to a person for gender-based characteristics or reduces their contributions through sexist remarks and actions.

Power and Control

Generally, sexual harassment is about power. The target is made to feel powerless to stop the offensive behavior. Unfortunately, that is exactly how this inappropriate behavior proliferates. Most of the time, harassers are male and targets are female.

Cultural Context

Men greatly outnumber women in positions of power in nearly all industries. Male aggression is often rewarded, while female empowerment is sometimes seen as a threat. Such baseless, ingrained cultural values often provide excuses for powerful men to prey on women in the workplace. Women who find the courage to stand up to their harassers often find that their complaints are ignored. Often, if the harasser is high enough in the company, would-be allies are unlikely to risk their jobs to support wrongly treated co-workers.

Making a Case

If you are the target of sexual harassment, you should keep track of any inappropriate interactions and notify your employer immediately about the situation. By law, your employer must address your concerns and stop the harassment. If your employer fails to do so , it is advisable to speak to an experienced sexual harassment lawyer about your options.

Philadelphia Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Support Victims’ Rights in the Workplace

Employees should feel valued about their contributions. When an employee is made to feel that their physical or sexual attributes are what determines their worth, it must be addressed. If your sexual harassment claims have been ignored, contact one of our Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. today. Contact us online or call us at 215-569-1999 to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey, including Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, northeast Philadelphia, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County.

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