If you have worked from home over the past couple of years, you certainly are not alone. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, roughly 18% of American workers claimed to work remotely in 2021.
Working from home has its benefits and drawbacks, of course. Even though you do not mind having virtual meetings, you probably miss some of your colleagues. Still, if you have been a victim of sexual harassment in the past, remote work may seem better. It does not eliminate the danger, though.
One definition of “sexual harassment” is a person’s making of unwanted advances or sexual remarks at work. While being away from a harasser is good, modern technology provides many ways for bad behaviors to continue. For example, someone can harass you using videoconferencing, e-mail or text messages.
Savvy sexual harassers probably realize they do not want to create a paper trail. If you are not physically close to a harasser, though, he or she might do just that. Therefore, if someone makes inappropriate remarks to you in writing, you should save the evidence.
Your employer should promptly investigate any sexual harassment complaints. Unfortunately, though, remote work can make internal investigations more challenging. That is, your employer might claim to have difficulty meeting with you, other witnesses and your harasser. Nevertheless, you should be able to count on your employer to take action.
Ultimately, if your employer refuses to take your complaint seriously or retaliates against you for speaking out, you may need to take legal action.