What you need to know about sexual harassment at work
Every individual has the right to dignity at work. As such, any acts that could harm or devalue a person’s dignity in the workplace is considered a crime. Knowing your rights could mean preventing all forms of harassment, including sexual harassment, to happen in the workplace.
According to the website of Cary Kane, sexual harassment accounts for a majority of work-related harassment cases filed in different courts across the country. At some point of their working lives, many Americans have experienced some sort of sexual harassment while at work.
In an article by the Huffington Post, survey revealed a very shocking truth: one of three women has been harassed sexually at their workplace. The survey, which polled 2,235 female workers, further revealed that sexual harassment at work now takes in many forms. What is more surprising is that, according to the research, 16% of women believed they had not been harassed even if they have experienced misconducts or false remarks that were inherently sexually, such as being called a ‘slut.’
In the past, sexual harassment has been defined by many as any physical advances that are sexual in nature. Now, women should be aware that they could also be harassed in any others, such as verbally, and even in Internet through social media. Furthermore, according to the Cary Kane website, they should also be aware about the industries where sexual harassment has been reported the highest: retail, hospitality and food service, legal, research, and arts and entertainment.
Sexual harassment, aside from taking various forms, also doesn’t exclude anyone – young, married, divorced. Of all the surveyed who reported that they were harassed, 19% of them reached graduate education, 45% of them have a bachelor’s degree, while 29% reached some college.
If you feel that you are being harassed, you are! Now, many employees see that quitting their work is their only option in dealing with work-related sexual harassment, but this should not be. You have to check first your employee manual’s sexual harassment code to know the steps in filing for a sexual harassment complaint.
After filing your report, your employer should investigate and do the necessary action to deal with your situation. But if he can’t, and he fails to provide a danger-free workplace for you, then you may consider forwarding your case to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.