Sexual discrimination in the workplace: What you should know

| Nov 20, 2019 | Firm News |

Everyone has the right to work in an environment free from discrimination. People should be able to perform their best and be given the opportunity to move up in the company based on their merit and hard work. Unfortunately, some people are held back by discriminatory practices, and that can take a toll on a person’s enthusiasm to work, mental health and ability to contribute to the company.

Sexual discrimination is a common problem in workplaces across the country. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 13,055 people filed sexual discrimination complaints in 2018, an increase from the 12,428 complaints filed the year prior. The numbers of actual sexual discrimination cases, however, is thought to be much more, as many people are afraid and/or embarrassed to come forward and file a claim.

Many people may be unaware of what constitutes sexual harassment, and may have been harassed without knowing that they were victimized. Types of sexual harassment include the following:

  • Request for sexual favors by a manager or co-worker
  • Unwanted physical advances, such as back rubbing or grabbing
  • Continued offhand comments regarding subjects sexual in nature that seem inappropriate
  • Threats that your job is on the line if you do not give into the requests

Sexual harassment creates an offensive or volatile work environment. You may be afraid that if you do not give into the constant teasing or pleading, you may lose your job.

Employers should provide training on sexual harassment and allow you to report the claims if an incident should occur.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.