Studies show that while women are the most common victims of sexual harassment in the workplace, men are also subjected to harassment on a fairly regular basis. According to a poll completed in 2011, 25 percent of women and 10 percent of men reported having been sexually harassed.
Sexual harassment can take many forms, and the two most common are quid pro quo and a hostile work environment. Quid pro quo involves people in positions of authority requiring an employee do things in exchange for raises, promotions or keeping their job. A hostile work environment is when people are subjected to severe or repeated comments, images or physical contact that is unwelcome.
When people are facing harassment in their workplace, they should report the issue to their employer and document all incidents. If someone’s supervisor is causing the problem, a person can go above their head or to human resources. It’s also important to record all instances of harassment, including names and times and what occurred. Doing these things will help ensure that someone has a record of what has taken place for themselves and that an employer has been made aware of an issue.
If people report sexual harassment at their workplace, they should be aware that their employer is not allowed to retaliate against them for doing so. In addition to wrongful termination, failing to promote an individual, not giving them a raise or treating them differently than other employees can all fall under the heading of retaliation, and an employment law attorney can often be of assistance if this should occur.