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3 Overlooked Forms of Sexual Harassment You Might Not Recognize

Workplace sexual harassment is a pervasive issue that can manifest in various forms, some of which are not immediately apparent. While obvious gestures and words may readily signal harassment, it’s crucial to recognize the subtler behaviors that can also constitute misconduct. In this article, we highlight three subtle behaviors often overlooked but classified as sexual harassment.

  1. Non-Sexual Physical Harassment: Any unwelcome physical contact that makes a person uncomfortable is categorized as sexual harassment. Patting someone on the back, physically blocking their movement, or even leaning closer to them are some subtle forms of sexual harassment.
  2. Non-Verbal Harassment: Non-verbal actions that are sexual in nature can easily cross the line of appropriate professional behavior. Such actions include following someone around the office or workplace, blocking someone from moving freely through the workplace, and showing someone sexually suggestive or explicit visual images.
  3. Unwanted Comments Outside of Work Hours: If a coworker, superior, or other colleague makes explicit comments to you outside of work hours, whether online, in person, or in any other context, it can still constitute sexual harassment.

While multiple state and federal laws protect workers from harassment, it’s crucial to understand that isolated incidents or casual jokes may not always constitute harassment; they become illegal when the behavior is pervasive or severe enough to create a hostile or offensive work environment.

Know Your Rights

Recognizing these subtle actions is the first step toward combating sexual harassment in the workplace. If you experience or witness any form of harassment, it’s essential not to remain silent. Reach out to your HR department or seek guidance from a legal professional to ensure that your rights are upheld and protected.

You Can Receive Justice After Suffering Harassment in the Workplace

At Ace Law Group, our attorneys have decades of experience defending the rights of harassment victims in court. We understand that these acts can create mental, emotional, and physical trauma. As your legal ally, we will handle your case with the discretion and sensitivity it deserves. Take the first step to a fair resolution by reaching our firm for a free, initial consultation. Together, we can work towards a safe and respectful workplace environment free of sexual harassment.