Sexual harassment is unsolicited sexual behavior that may insult, degrade, or intimidate a person. It is frequently – sometimes not – a sign of gender discrimination and affects women. A single instance of sexual harassment or a pattern of behavior; a provocative remark or an inappropriate joke are all examples of sexual harassment. It might happen at work, during a work party, or at school. Sexual harassment is illegal, regardless of the motive.
What does it mean to be sexually harassed?
Sexual harassment is defined by the law as uninvited sexual practices that causes an individual to feel insulted, humiliated, or intimidated in circumstances where a sensible person may have expected such response.
The following are examples of sexual harassment:
- a sexual advance that isn’t welcome
- a proposition for sexual favours that is unwanted
- any other sexually inappropriate behavior
Here are some examples of sexual harassment in the workplace and information on how to handle it if you have been harassed at work
⦁ Sharing sexually improper photos or videos with coworkers, such as pornographic material or obscene gifs
⦁ Sending ominous letters, notes, or mails
⦁ Inappropriate sexual photos or posters are shown in the workplace.
⦁ Sharing sexual anecdotes or telling inappropriate jokes
⦁ Making sexual gestures that are wrong
⦁ Whistling or eyeing in an overtly sexual or unpleasant way
⦁ Making sexually suggestive remarks about someone’s looks, attire, or bodily parts
⦁ Squeezing, stroking, rubbing, or purposely brushing up against the other person are all examples of inappropriate touching.
⦁ Inquiring about a person’s sexual history or sexual orientation is a kind of sexual questioning.
⦁ Making derogatory remarks regarding another person’s gender or sexual orientation
Those accused of sexual misbehavior often argue that they were kidding. However, jokes may be insulting, dangerous, or unwelcome. It makes no difference what the purpose is: sexual assault is illegal.
Training may assist employees and coworkers realize the difference between such a lighthearted joke and harassment in the workplace.
What might go wrong?
If you file a lawsuit, you have a variety of “remedies” to choose from. Some are about money, while others are about influencing your boss’s conduct. Not everyone will be able to obtain all of these items. Each situation is unique, but here are some typical instances of what you might demand and perhaps get if you’re effective (i.e. if you win your lawsuit or reach a settlement).
If sexual harassment results in a loss of employment or income, you may be entitled to compensation for lost earnings and other economic damages (i.e., you had to take a leave of absence, lost hours, were fired and had no income for a while, or lost your job and have not found one that pays you as much.) You might also seek compensation for any medical or health-care expenditures you had or will incur as a result of sexual misconduct or retaliation.
Reimbursement for emotional distress and physically physical suffering caused by harassment, such as agony, stress, worry, pain and suffering, loss of sleep, reputational harm, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Reinstatement: If you were dismissed or driven out of your work as a result of inappropriate behavior or retaliation, you may be eligible for reinstatement.
Punitive damages: If you sue your employer in court and show that he or she acted with malice or “reckless indifference” to your rights, you might well be able to get the court or a jury to order the employer to pay punitive damages, which are intended to punish particularly bad business owners and send a clear warning to other employers.
Obtain a change in your employer’s policy or procedures. You may be able to acquire a court order or your company to agree to modify the way they do things in the future to assist make the workplace safer and more equitable for everyone, and to prevent others from going through what you did.
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