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Can Inappropriate Text Messages Constitute Sexual Harassment?

July 12th, 2023
Philadelphia Sexual Harassment Lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Can Protect Your Workplace Rights if You Are Being Sexually Harassed

In today’s technology-driven world, communication through text messages has become a common means of interaction in both personal and professional settings. As a result, the potential for sexual harassment via text messages has increased significantly.

Sexual harassment is a form of sex or gender discrimination prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It includes any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment.
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting that individual.
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

There are three main types of sexual harassment:

  • Quid pro quo: This type of harassment occurs when a person in authority (e.g., a supervisor) demands sexual favors in exchange for job benefits, such as promotions, salary increases, or job security. For example, a manager tells an employee that they will receive a promotion if they engage in sexual activity with them.
  • Hostile work environment: This type of harassment occurs when unwelcome sexual conduct creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment that interferes with an employee’s ability to perform their job. Examples include inappropriate touching, making lewd comments, or displaying sexually explicit materials in the workplace.
  • Retaliation: This type of harassment occurs when an employer takes adverse action against an employee for opposing or reporting sexual harassment. For instance, an employee may be demoted or terminated for filing a complaint about harassment.

Sexual harassment can occur through text messages. Examples of inappropriate text messages that could constitute sexual harassment include:

  • Sending explicit images or videos without consent.
  • Repeatedly sending unwanted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors.
  • Using derogatory language or offensive comments about a person’s sex or gender.

Steps to Take if You Are Being Sexually Harassed at Work

If you believe you are experiencing sexual harassment through text messages or any other form, consider taking the following steps:

  • Document the incidents: Keep records of all instances of harassment, including screenshots of text messages, emails, or other evidence. Note the date, time, and details of each occurrence.
  • Report the harassment: Inform your supervisor, manager, or HR department about the harassment and provide them with your documented evidence. It is essential to follow your company’s policies and procedures for reporting harassment.
  • Seek legal advice: If the harassment continues or your employer does not take appropriate action, it may be necessary to consult with a lawyer. They can guide you on your rights and potential legal remedies.

Philadelphia Sexual Harassment Lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Can Protect Your Workplace Rights if You Are Being Sexually Harassed

If your manager, boss, or colleague sexually harasses you via text, that could be illegal workplace sexual harassment. To review your situation, speak with our Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. today. Call us at 215-569-1999 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we serve clients in South Jersey and Southeastern Pennsylvania, including Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Northeast Philadelphia, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Lehigh County, and Montgomery County.

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