The common assumption with sexual harassment is that male supervisors will harass female workers who are at a lower position in the company. Perhaps the most common example is a male CEO and his female secretary.
A 25-year veteran security officer at the Pennsylvania Senate was just recently fired due to what her bosses have described as conduct that "has been quite problematic."
Amid many high-profile sexual harassment claims in recent years, there have been common sentiments of anger and frustration, but also fear. Some people argue that the law is becoming oversensitive to flirtation and friendliness and that people could accidentally be found guilty of harassment at work. This is simply not the case.
The current political climate has drawn attention to instances of sexual harassment over the last couple of years. While this has helped bring to light the troubling prevalence of sexual harassment in the workplace, it has also led to an environment of fear. Some employees might be afraid to make what they would perceive to be jokes in good humor with co-workers of the opposite gender.
If you are feeling uncomfortable at work because of unwanted advances from a co-worker, you might think that the behavior is simply too subtle to be classed as sexual harassment. However, sexual harassment can come in many different forms and in varying degrees of severity. Therefore, it may be possible for you to still file a sexual harassment claim.
If you have been involved in an uncomfortable situation at work, and you believe that you have been sexually harassed, it is important that you take this very seriously. Sexual harassment should never be tolerated in any environment, and the workplace, in particular, should be an environment in which you feel safe and supported with the ability to focus on the task at hand.
If you are an employee in a Pennsylvania workplace, it is important to understand the ways in which you are protected by the law. Across the United States, workers are protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
When an employee accuses a colleague or manager of sexual harassment, the investigation is often handled within the company. In some cases, companies will bring in an independent investigator to help ensure that the investigation is impartial -- perhaps because the person accused is a high-level executive. Organizations take these complaints seriously, as they should. They can face considerable liability and damage to their reputation.
Most people think of employment-related sexual harassment as something that happens in person through comments, unwanted touching or unwanted sexual advances. However, sexual harassment can also happen in written form, textual form, electronic form and through voice transmission technology by way of the internet. This type of sexual harassment is called "online sexual harassment."
An astonishing 60 percent of women in the United States say that they have faced instances of sexual harassment, according to a poll conducted by Quinnipiac University published late last year. Among the women who said that they had experienced sexual harassment, here is where they said they experienced such harassment: