What is non-physical sexual harassment?

On Behalf of | Jul 30, 2020 | Firm News |

Michigan workers like you deserve a space that is safe to work in. Worker’s rights laws guarantee protections from certain abuses. This can include overworking or underpaying an employee. Laws also address the overall comfort of your workplace. 

Unfortunately, no workplace is perfect and free of discrimination or harassment. In fact, you may not even be aware of certain forms of harassment. 

Physical vs non-physical sexual harassment

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission looks into cases like this. They discuss non-physical sexual harassment in the workplace. When people think of sexual harassment, most think of physical harassment. This may include grabbing you inappropriately or forcing contact in other ways. It can include assault as well. But these are not the only forms of sexual harassment. 

Examples of non-physical sexual harassment

Non-physical sexual harassment often revolves around the comments someone makes about you. For example, a co-worker may spread rumors about your sexual availability. Someone may make an inappropriate remark about an outfit you are wearing. Someone can even make a discriminatory comment about your gender. For example, if you are a woman, they may tell you to “get back to the kitchen”. 

There are also threats. A higher up may try to threaten you by demanding sexual favors in exchange for not firing you. They may threaten to report your “misbehavior” if you do not engage. Likewise, coercion is also a tactic an employer may use. They may promise promotions or raises in exchange for sexual favors. These actions are examples of sexual harassment toward you. The interactions are not physical in nature. But they still count toward threatening you.