Sexual Harassment

No one should have to put up with sexual assault or harassment.

Sexually assaulted or sexually harassed at work?
You feel embarrassed. You feel alone. You wonder what you did for this to happen to you.
“Is it my fault?”
“Will anyone believe me?”
Sexual assault happens. Sexual harassment happens. It is not your fault and your employer should be held accountable.

What is sexual harassment?

There are two kinds of sexual harassment employees can suffer at work.
The first is by a person in authority and is an offer to trade job advantages for sex:
“Do this for me and that promotion is yours”
“Do this or you are fired.”

What is a hostile work environment?

The second kind of sex harassment where unwelcome sexual comments, pictures, “jokes,” solicitation and references are so severe and pervasive that it makes it difficult to work.

This attention can be from a co-worker, a supervisor, or even a customer or vendor. It can even be from someone with whom you initially had a consensual relationship if you now cannot get the attention to stop.

Some examples behaviors that could create a hostile work environment may include unwanted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors; sexually related jokes and language in general; discussions about your body; discussion about sexual abilities; touching; gestures; someone showing sexually suggestive pictures at work; and other physical, verbal or visual behavior that is sexual in nature.

What is sex discrimination?

Employers cannot treat employees differently because of their gender. For example:

  • Men and women with the same jobs cannot be paid different wages if the differential is based on sex.
  • Men and women both should have the same opportunities for promotion, training, advancement.
  • Men and women who commit the same work infractions should have the same discipline.
  • In a layoff, gender should not be the factor that decides who goes and who stays.
  • Pregnant women should not have their opportunities or advancement or employment negatively affected by their pregnancy.
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