Most people think they have a clear idea of what sexual harassment looks like in the workplace. However, sexual harassment is not always black and white.
Unfortunately, when it comes to sexual harassment, many people do not report it or make a claim. Some people fear retaliation, whereas others worry that they may not be taken seriously. Understanding the types of sexual harassment can help determine if you have a claim.
Sexist harassment can happen to a person of any gender. One common type of sexual harassment in the workplace would be the employer forcing women to be more feminine or pushing them out of important meetings. Employers, supervisors and coworkers cannot treat people less seriously because of feminine traits.
Likewise, compliments on a person’s body are sexual harassment. If you have someone who constantly compliments your body or makes sexual comments about your body, that is sexual harassment.
While most people understand that you cannot touch others without their consent, some people refrain from reporting sexual harassment because of the form of touching. For instance, an employer may constantly put his or her hand on your shoulder or back. Repeated hugs when you express discomfort can also be signs of sexual harassment.
Quid pro quo sexual harassment
Quid pro quo sexual harassment tends to come from an employer or supervisor. This is when someone requests sexual favors or dates in exchange for a promotion or to prevent termination.
If you have a report of sexual harassment, your employer cannot retaliate against you.