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Sexual Harassment at the Office
The workplace environment is supposed to be safe for everyone to go about their duties but unfortunately, that is not always the case. There are perverts all around us who are up to no good and make all manner of unwarranted advances on their colleagues at the workplace. This creates a hostile working environment in the office and makes it difficult for the employees to go about their duties. Sexual harassment at the office is not just limited to touching another employee in a sexual manner without their consent. It covers many other aspects which we will discuss in detail in this post.
What constitutes sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment is a general term that covers indecent behavior, uninvited comments, and discrimination regarding sex and the sexual orientation of another member in the office. The perpetrators could be a fellow employee, a manager in your department or even the clients, suppliers and contractors in your office. Such harassment usually demeans the victim and it may interfere with the ability to discharge their duties. The harassment may take place during the hiring process whereby managers ask for sexual favors so as to offer the open position to a certain candidate or when a candidate is looked down upon in the hiring process because of his or her sexual orientation. It could also take place in the office when a fellow employee or a manager makes inappropriate advances towards a member in the office.
Sexual harassment in the office also includes sexual assault cases such as when senior managers in the office force or coerce their juniors to engage in sex if they want promotions and other perks in the office. Promotions in the offices should be handed out on merit and if senior managers demand sexual favors to be able to issue promotions to their juniors, then that is considered sexual harassment. Other instances that constitute sexual harassment include:
Sharing inappropriate videos and images that are sexual in nature such as pornography content with co-workers.
Sending your co-workers suggestive letters or emails.
Staring at your co-workers in an offensive or sexually suggestive manner.
Making sexual comments on your co-workers' clothing, appearance or their body parts.
Touching your co-workers inappropriately such as touching their private parts or purposefully brushing up against them.
Asking your co-workers sexual questions such as their sexual history or orientation.
These are some of the instances that constitute sexual harassment in the office. The victim of such harassment is not necessarily the target of the sexual offense but anyone within the office who feels offended by the acts or comments made by the perpetrator. Workers should take the necessary steps to seek justice when they feel harmed and offended by the acts of sexual harassment within the office. You should report the harassment or assault to your HR department detailing the events that took place and the perpetrators of the heinous act. You should also take notes on the time, date and the nature of the harassment so as to make it easy for the relevant authorities to take action.