Sexual harassment is unacceptable in any area of life and the workplace is no exception. Sadly, there are many individuals in workplaces in California and throughout the United States who do not respect the rights of their colleagues. Whether you are the target of harassment or you notice it being directed at someone else, it is vital to know the signs and report it immediately.
Sexual harassment can come in many forms, some of which many workers may not even realize fall into the bracket. It can include unwanted advances, whether verbal or physical, as well as suggestive gestures, messages, images or objects. Propositioning someone or attempting to gain sexual favors in exchange for promotions or employment benefits also falls into this category.
According to California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing, sexual harassment also covers acts such as blocking someone’s path or touching them against their will. It also refers to derogatory or degrading comments made about a person’s body and any abuse of a sexual nature or with reference to their gender or pregnancy.
It is a wide-ranging problem and one that can cause severe and long-term distress to those targeted by it. If you suspect someone in your workplace is being harassed, or you feel that you are the target of harassment, it is important to report it immediately. It may seem daunting, but you are not alone. An attorney may also be able to support you if you choose to take legal action against those responsible.