Is sexual harassment always physical?

On Behalf of | Mar 19, 2020 | employment law | 0 comments

Texas employees all have the right to feel safe in their work environment. Anything that disrupts this safety or interferes in workplace productivity is illegal.

Today we will look at sexual harassment in particular. We will look at behaviors that fall under the umbrella of sexual harassment. For example, is all sexual harassment physical?

Behaviors that constitute sexual harassment

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission examines this question. What is sexual harassment in the workplace? Many people think of physical harassment or assault when talking about sexual harassment. But sexual harassment is much more than that. Physical assault does fall under the umbrella of sexual harassment. But this umbrella also includes verbal harassment.

Examples of verbal harassment include:

  • Rumors that are sexual in nature
  • Catcalling
  • Threatening or coercing someone into performing sexual acts
  • Using lewd or vulgar language

A victim does not need to suffer harassment directly. What if rumors spread about their sexuality, sexual activities or more? This is also harassment. Many people find their workplaces to be hostile environments if such rumors exist. For some, it makes continuing work impossible.

Sexual harassment that demeans certain genders

Sexual harassment also includes gender-based harassment. This is something some people are not aware of. What does it mean? Any joke that targets a person’s gender is sexual harassment under these laws. Have you heard someone make a tasteless “get back in the kitchen” joke? This is sexual harassment and the employee who made the joke could get into serious trouble.

It is important for everyone to stand on equal ground when facing harassment. Knowing what sexual harassment is is a good place to start.