It is not the easiest task to differentiate sexual harassment from innocent workplace behavior. Sexual harassment is a term used to describe unwelcomed sexual advances, physical or verbal sexual conduct, and requests for sexual favors. If you think you are being sexually harassed by a coworker or employee, you should consider confronting them. If you are able to do this without crippling anxiety, walk up to your harasser and state, without smiling, or appearing timid, that you do not like their sexual comments, advances, or requests. If this does not work, file a complaint with your company and make it known to your boss or head manager that you want the harasser to be punished and reprimanded for their behavior. If your boss is the one sexually harassing you, try to go to the human resources department or someone above him or her. Sexual harassment in the workplace brings about symptoms of trauma such as:
- Embarrassment, causes the victim to retreat and not want to leave their house
- Fear that if anyone found out it would ruin their career
- Anxiety that it will occur again
- A career change
- Poor or worsening work performance
- Resignation from job
Telltale Signs of Sexual Harassment
Quid pro quo is the Latin term for “something for something” or exchange between persons. Essentially, it is a favor for a favor. Typically, this goes hand in hand with sexual harassment in the workplace. When an individual in authority (usually a manager or supervisor) gives an employee the ultimatum that if he or she does not allow sexual advances from the supervisor, they will be fired or withheld from a promotion or raise. This is not the only sign of sexual harassment from a coworker or supervisor. It also includes him or her:
- Looking/staring at or making remarks about your body. This can come in the form of telling you your pants fit perfectly on you or that your dress shows off your curves.
- Asking about you and your life, any relationships you may be in, any sexual experiences you have, and any romantic partners you currently possess.
- Talking about their own sexual experiences without you asking.
- Standing too close to you when he or she speaks and talking to you in an intimate or romantic way.
- Trying to get you to go on a date or meet outside of work alone
- Showing you pornographic pictures or videos or attempting to get you to speak about a sexual movie.
Consider Seeking Out Legal Counsel