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Is this still sexual harassment?

On Behalf of | May 2, 2021 | Employment Law for Employees |

No one wants to work in an environment where they feel unsafe or objectified. Unfortunately, despite attempts to fix the situation, workplace sexual harassment continues to rank as one of the biggest issues faced by modern workers today.

But did you know that sexual harassment does not just have to include physical contact or assault? This is non-physical sexual harassment, and it is just as illegal.

What is non-physical sexual harassment?

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission discusses the issue of sexual harassment at work. Of course, most people often think of physical assault and harassment when they think of sexual harassment. Most of the high profile cases of workplace harassment involve assault, after all. This continues to be a huge issue in the workplace, but it is not the only one.

Non-physical sexual harassment is just as much of an issue. In many ways, it is even more of one because it flies under the radar more often. Many victims who experience non-physical sexual harassment do not even know that they are victims of a punishable crime.

Unwanted comments based on gender

Non-physical sexual harassment involves any form of harassment based on sex or gender that is verbal. For example, if a boss threatens to fire you if you do not perform a sexual act, this is non-physical sexual harassment. The same goes for a boss attempting to bribe you with promotions, bonuses, bigger office space and so on.

If coworkers spread negative rumors about your sex life or talk about you in a sexual way behind your back, this is also non-physical sexual harassment. In fact, comments do not even have to be sexual in nature. You can also report harassment if coworkers or employers make negative remarks or jokes based on your gender. Any of these issues may net the same penalties as sexual assault and physical harassment.