What are less obvious signs of sexual harassment at work?

On Behalf of | Mar 16, 2023 | Employment Law |

Sexual harassment comes in many different forms. Some are extremely obvious, while others are much more insidious and subtle.

It is equally important to keep an eye out for these subtle signs, of course. What should you be on the lookout for if you suspect sexual harassment in more quiet forms?

Unwanted romantic pressures

The U.S. Department of the Interior discusses sexual harassment. Sexual harassment often gets boiled down to inappropriate touching or extremely vulgar comments, but this is just one small portion of a much larger scope of issues.

For example, unwanted romantic pressure counts as a form of sexual harassment. This is particularly true if the advances come from someone with authority, like a manager or even the boss. This may spur fears of retaliation for refusal.

Likewise, some may attempt to use their position to leverage a “deal” for a date or sexual favors, offering promotions or raises in exchange.

Inappropriate conversation

On top of that, inappropriate jokes and conversations constitute harassment even without open vulgarity. Any comment that carries sexual implications or unwanted advances could fall under this category, even if the perpetrator believes it is mild.

Unwelcome physical contact

Finally, unwelcome touches constitute harassment even if they do not specifically occur in one’s private places. This can include touches to the shoulder, back, hip, waist or any other area of the body. Unwanted touching is unwanted touching, regardless of where the touch happens.

It is important to keep in mind that these actions do constitute harassment, and it is possible to take action against them.