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Examples of sexual harassment

You might feel like you are being subjected to sexual harassment at your workplace but are not sure if you have the basis for a legal claim. There are various examples of what constitutes sexual harassment under local, state and federal laws. Sexual harassment takes many discriminatory forms of verbal and physical actions from coworkers and supervisors.

If you are experiencing what you think is harassment, reading these examples can help clarify if you have grounds to make a legal claim. Understanding sexual harassment law and getting help from a professional employment discrimination attorney can help you resolve your situation.

Verbal harassment

Perhaps the most common form of workplace sexual harassment falls under verbal harassment. Examples of verbal sexual harassment include:

  • Innuendo
  • Off-color jokes
  • Derogatory comments regarding sex
  • Threats

If coworkers or supervisors are taking part in these inappropriate behaviors, they may be creating an offensive, intimidating and hostile work environment for you.

Physical harassment

Physical conduct can be the basis of various harassment claims, especially sexual harassment. Any unwanted physical touch can fall under this category. The type of physical touch does not have to necessarily be sexual in nature, but it can include sexual touching such as groping.

Supervisor harassment

Unfortunately, sometimes sexual harassment comes from the top down. Supervisors may sexually harass employees by requesting sexual favors in return for benefits. Sex may be requested in exchange for not punishing the employee. It may also include sexual favors in return for raises or promotions. This is commonly referred to as quid pro quo.

Other types of harassment

There are numerous examples of sexual harassment, and each situation is unique. Another example is a coworker or supervisor sharing derogatory images. This can be done through texting, emailing or posting an image on a screensaver or somewhere else in the workplace. In the worst of cases, someone at your workplace may attempt or succeed in committing sexual assault.

Unlawful sexual harassment doesn't end with these examples. In many cases, there are a variety of factors that contribute to a discriminatory work environment. Your situation may not fit perfectly into one of the examples listed above but may still count as harassment. Whether your experience constitutes illegal discrimination depends on specific facts.

Understanding your rights regarding sexual harassment can help you determine what to do. By receiving advice and counsel regarding your experiences in the workplace, you'll be in a better position to realize the severity of your case. Contact an experienced employment law attorney to learn more.

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