Friday, January 11, 2019

How to Identify Sexual Harassment at Work

Sexual harassment is a serious issue challenging the workforce across America. While this has been an issue for years and years, recent news stories and activists have brought this issue to the forefront. Sexual harassment has a damaging effect on your employees and company culture. Whether you are a business owner or an employee at a business, sexual harassment is a topic that should be taken very seriously. As your business attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks, we know how important it is for sexual harassment incidents to be addressed right away. Learn more about the damaging effects of sexual harassment in the workplace and how to identify this type of behavior.

Identifying Sexual Harassment:

There are many forms of sexual harassment. Below are a few examples of common sexual harassment situations, to help you better identify this type of harassment in the future:

  • Touching someone in an inappropriate manner (brushing up against them, placing a hand on shoulder or back). 
  • Discussing sex or sexual acts with another employee. 
  • Kissing, hugging, punching, or grabbing someone you work with. 
  • Asking for sexual favors. 
  • Making uncalled for or sexual noises around another employee. 
  • Asking about the sexual history of a co-worker. 
  • Showing sexual photographs or objects.
  • Insulting someone's clothing or appearance. 
  • Threatening an employee if they refuse sexual advances or favors. 

Types of Sexual Harassment:

The federal law classifies two primary forms of sexual harassment in the workplace:

  • A Hostile Work Environment results when a person or group of people are made to feel uncomfortable at work. No physical contact has to be made to create a hostile work environment. A sexual joke or comment can certainly lead to a hostile work environment. 

  • The Quid Pro Quo is when an employees' work status is threatened or changed due to a sexual advance or favor. If someone is being hired, promoted, or fired contingent upon their willingness to submit to sexual advances or perform a sexual favor, it is quid pro quo harassment. 
Sexual harassment should not be taken lightly. It's vital for your business to take action and address the issue right away. If you notice any of the above behaviors of sexual harassment, even if it does not involve you, report the issue right away. If you are the business owner or HR manager that receives a report of sexual harassment, prompt action is required. If you are worried about your business being sued for sexual harassment in the workplace near the Lake of the Ozarks, contact a lawyer right away. A legal professional can offer advice on how to take the proper steps to put an end to the harassment and help protect your business from further legal steps against you. For more information about sexual harassment in the workplace, contact Gibbons Law Firm at 573-348-2211.

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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