Workplace incidents of sexual harassment continue to occur. Do you know what to look out for to identify it?
While some acts of harassment may appear obvious, others may remain subtle. In these instances, you may find yourself questioning whether what you experience is harassment. Learn some of the more subtle examples of sexual harassment in the workplace.
Stopping you from going by
If you feel like someone is impeding your forward progress in a confined space, it may make you uncomfortable. It is this feeling that makes an action sexual harassment. A person who uses physical intimidation or presence to block your path may face a harassment claim.
Touching you often
Some people may consider themselves huggers or touchy-feeling. However, if you do not appreciate an invasion of your physical space and make it known, they should respect your boundary. Even subtle touching, if done in a way that makes you feel violated, rises to sexual harassment.
Making jokes that have a sexual undertone
One of the most common forms of sexual harassment is joke-telling. Whether a joke revolves around the act of sex or someone’s gender or sexuality, it is in bad taste and should not happen at work. However, if you voice your concern over the tone of someone’s jokes or stories, and they continue telling them, you should report it as sexual harassment.
You should report harassment to your boss. Even if you are unsure if the action qualifies, report anything that makes you uncomfortable and unable to perform your work. If the harasser is a superior, go to your human resources representative or higher up the chain of command.