Ever felt uncomfortable at your workplace? Here's all you need to know about sexual harassment at workplace

  • Ever felt uncomfortable at your workplace? Here's all you need to know about sexual harassment at workplace

    Date : 22-05-2019 12:37

    Sexual harassment has as a term is a little difficult to define as it involves a range of behaviors. More often than not this term is subjected to various interpretations.

    Workplace sexual harassment is an unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature which unreasonably interferes with the performance of a person's job or creates a hostile work environment. Sexual harassment can involve persistent offensive sexual jokes or inappropriate touching or posting offensive material. Sexual harassment at work is a serious issue and can happen to anyone irrespective of their gender. A working environment or workplace culture that is sexually permeated or hostile will also amount to unlawful sexual harassment.

    Sexual harassment is called to be workplace sexual harassment when it happens either at work, where people are carrying out work-related functions, at work-related events or, between people sharing the same workplace. An incident doesn’t have to be repeated. One incident is enough to constitute sexual harassment.

    Examples of sexually harassing behavior include:

    -touching that is not welcomed

    -staring

    -sexual comments or jokes

    -pictures that are sexually explicit

    -unwanted invitations

    -requests for sex

    -questions about a person's private life or body that are intrusive in nature

    -unnecessary sexually explicit touching

    -sexual insults or taunts

    -sexually explicit text messages.

    There are several key phrases in this definition that are important to understanding your rights and any potential legal claims you may have:
    “Unwelcome”

    To be illegal, sexual harassment must be unwelcome. Unwelcome means unwanted. For this reason, it is important to communicate (verbally, in writing, or by your actions) to the harasser that the conduct makes you uncomfortable and that you want it to stop.
    Conduct “of a sexual nature”

    Many different kinds of physical, verbal, nonverbal or visual conduct of a sexual nature may be accounted as sexual harassment. It is not necessary that the sexual harassment has to sexually suggestive in nature. Harassing conduct may or may not be unlawful in nature based on your sex or gender. For example, if you’re a part of an all-male job such as a carpenter, and you are being singled out for harsh criticism, even though your job performance is the same as your male co-workers, such conduct may be a form of unlawful sexual harassment.

    “Severe or Pervasive”
    The conduct leading to sexual harassy must either be severe or pervasive. Even if it is one of them it will be considered as sexual harassment.

    According to law isolated offhand comments, simple teasing, or incidents that happen only once and are not serious doesn’t comprise under sexual harassment. So, one sexually suggestive comment that offends you which may or may not be inappropriate or a single unwanted request for a date is not sexual harassment. However, when there is a single incident of very serious conduct, like rape or attempted rape, then it is definitely sexual harassment according to law.

    Just because someone is not objecting or resisting to inappropriate behavior in the workplace at that time, it does not mean that they are consenting to the inappropriate behavior against them. All incidents of sexual harassment require immediate and appropriate response of employers or managers.

    Sexual harassment under the Equal Opportunity Act is against the law. Sexual offences like indecent exposure, stalking, sexual assault and threatening communications are sexual harassments that come under criminal law.

    Sexual harassment is one of the most serious and common problem in the workplace and it has become one that receives a lot of negative attention. In some of the sexual harassment cases at workplace, there is more misusing of law now a days, which is a scenario to worry about.

    Employers should consider reporting criminal offences to the police.

    Going through one of the above mentioned situations? We at Lawtendo will help you get through it by filing complaint and taking care of the matters through the best legal harassment lawyers. You don’t need to worry. Just drop us a mail at info@lawtendo.com or you can contact our consultants directly on +91 9671633666. You can also visit www.lawtendo.com.


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