Sexual harassment has no place in American workplaces. It is against the law regardless of who you are or where you work.
Many people think that sexual harassment only affects women, but men also have to be concerned about harassment and how it could influence them. They equally have a right to pursue a claim if they are harassed at work and their employer does not correct the situation in an appropriate manner.
It’s possible for men to be sexually harassed at work
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, states that workplace sexual harassment includes any kind of request for sexual favors, conduct of a sexual nature, sexual advances or other unwelcome actions of a sexual nature that interferes with a person’s work environment or work performance in a negative way.
Interestingly, sexual harassment can include anything from unwanted touching to receiving unwanted sexual images from coworkers or colleagues.
While women do tend to report the majority of sexual harassment complaints, that doesn’t mean that men can’t be victims. It’s possible for men to be harassed by women or other men, too.
What constitutes sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment at work might include actions such as:
- Sending unwanted and suggestive letters, emails or notes to colleagues
- Inappropriate touching, such as slapping someone’s butt or placing a hand on their waist
- Making inappropriate sexual gestures
- Continuing to harass someone for a date when they have refused previously
Both men and women are at risk of sexual harassment at work, but men tend not to report these issues because they don’t think they’ll be taken seriously. Regardless of who you are, you have a right to work in a safe, respectful work environment free of sexual harassment. If you are being harassed by a supervisor, colleague, or other party, it’s your right to report that behavior and to request that they stop. If the behavior does not stop, then you may be able to take further action against the perpetrator.
If you’re sexually harassed at work, you may be able to pursue a lawsuit against your employer and seek compensation for what you’ve been through.