Sexual harassment is inexcusable in any work environment. Employees are entitled to a safe and secure workplace where they can be free of the hostile environment that accompanies sexual harassment. Sadly, harassment is perhaps the most common and underreported workplace misconduct. Estimates suggest that nearly 70% of all workplace harassment is left unaddressed because victims fail to complain, perhaps because they are afraid, unsure of how to proceed or think harassment is simply part of the job. Conduct that may rise to the level of unlawful sexual harassment includes:
- Sexual jokes, comments, or innuendo;
- Suggestive comments about clothing or body type;
- Unwelcomed advances from supervisors or co-workers;
- Visual conduct such as leering or offensive gestures;
- Comments stereotyping women;
- Favoring workers who participate in inappropriate conduct;
- Promoting provocative attire;
- Forwarding lewd pictures, videos, emails, text messages or jokes;
- Encouraging employees to flirt with, or dress to please, clients;
- Inappropriate touching, or attempts to touch;
- Ignoring complaints of harassment and inappropriate behavior;
- Making sexual favors or other conduct a condition of employment, advancement or job benefits;
- Cursing or yelling in a manner designed to intimidate female employees;
- Threats of reprisal for not tolerating or reporting inappropriate conduct;
- Blocking or impeding exit from an area in the workplace;
- Conduct making you feel like you are being stalked;
- Inappropriate conduct from supervisors or co-workers outside the workplace.
Whether or not conduct rises to the level of sexual harassment can be complicated. Too many employees fail to take action because they are unsure if they have a case. We encourage you to follow this guideline: If it makes you feel uncomfortable or intimidated, it is likely unlawful. Don’t be discouraged if:
- you feel your case will be difficult to prove;
- if it is a matter of he-said-she-said; or
- if you feel you are the only one offended by your environment.
We are experienced in helping clients overcome a broad range of harassment and hostile work environments. We know how to prove cases that might otherwise seem difficult. To arrange a free, confidential consultation to discuss how we can help protect your rights, contact Dave Eberly (513-533-1151) or Ted Copetas (513-533-1103).