Check out these five facts about sexual harassment and learn about possible remedies. You might be surprised at what you learn.
Sexual harassment is a type of discrimination – and it’s against the law. It violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, and it can come in two forms: quid pro quo sexual harassment and hostile work environment sexual harassment.
5 Facts About Sexual Harassment
While many of us have seen or experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, it’s not always easy to identify (check out 5 Signs That Someone is Sexually Harassing You for more information). However, even after identifying clear-cut sexual harassment, many people second-guess themselves because they’re not sure it qualifies.
Sexual harassment is often misunderstood, but here’s what you need to know:
- A sexual harasser can be a man or a woman.
- The harasser can be a supervisor, a co-worker or even a non-employee.
- You don’t have to be the subject of the harassment to be the victim of sexual harassment.
- The victim doesn’t have to be economically injured or fired for sexual harassment to have occurred.
- The harasser’s conduct must be unwelcome.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these so you can recognize sexual harassment when you see it.
1. Sexual Harassment Occurs Regardless of Gender
Men and women can be sexual harassers – and both genders can be victims, too. The harassment can take place in opposite-sex and same-sex relationships. It doesn’t matter who’s committing it; in all cases, it’s illegal to sexually harass someone in the workplace.
2. The Harasser Doesn’t Have to Be a Direct Supervisor
In order for sexual harassment to occur, it doesn’t have to happen between a direct supervisor and an employee. There are certain types of sexual harassment that can only occur between supervisors and employees, such as quid pro quo (which means “this for that”) sexual harassment – but it can occur between two employees, a supervisor and employee who work in different areas, non-employees and employees or when an employee harasses his or her supervisor.
Related: Quid pro quo sexual harassment examples
3. You Can Be a Victim, Even if You’re Not the Person Who Was Harassed
Even if you were not the victim of direct harassment, you can be harmed or affected by the offensive conduct. Sexual harassment rarely affects only the two people involved; it often involves friends of both the harasser and the victim, as well as other co-workers who aren’t in direct contact with the situation. The law is written so that anyone may be a victim of sexual harassment.
4. Economic Injury or Being Fired Aren’t Necessary for Sexual Harassment to Have Occurred
The victim does not need to be passed over for promotion, lose out on benefits, or be fired in order for sexual harassment to have occurred. In fact, you can be a sexual harassment victim without experiencing any of these things. The key is that sexual harassment is illegal in the workplace, regardless of the consequences.
Related: Sexual harassment defined
5. The Harasser’s Conduct Must Be Unwelcome
If the someone’s conduct is welcome, then he or she is not harassing a victim. In order to qualify as sexual harassment, the conduct has to be unwelcome.
Do You Need to Talk to a Sexual Harassment Lawyer in LA or Glendale?
If you’ve been victimized in the workplace, whether you directly experienced harassment or sexual harassment has affected you, you may have legal recourse.
Call us at 818-617-9706 or toll-free at 800-774-4163 for a free consultation with a Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney. Every consultation is completely confidential, and when you call, we can give you case-specific legal advice that will help you regain control and get on the right path.