Sexual harassment in the workplace should not be permitted under any circumstances. Everyone must follow clear boundaries and rules to ensure the health and safety of people in their place of work. Luckily, harassment is a matter that is taken very seriously nowadays. In fact, all sexual harassment claims fall under two categories: a hostile work environment or quid pro quo.
Quid pro quo is when one individual requests exchange for an inappropriate action for their personal benefit. A hostile work environment is when misconduct and inappropriate speech is severe and pervasive that employees no longer feel comfortable and safe working in such conditions. To understand what to be aware of in your place of business, you must first educate yourself on what sexual harassment is.
Verbal sexual harassment involves making aggressive requests, sexualizing a person, referring to inappropriate sexual content or jokes in the workplace, such as discussing sexual acts or someone’s sexual orientation. Verbal harassment can be intimidating and threatening, which contributes to a hostile work environment.
Unwelcome Physical Contact
Unwelcome physical contact is any physical interaction the victim has not warranted. Inappropriate touching is not permitted and should not be solicited in the workplace. Moreover, employees should not be put into a position wherein they are uncomfortable with someone’s advertent behavior.
It’s essential to ensure your place of work is protected from such advancements. There should be an authority figure to confide if any harassment occurs, and the perpetrator must face serious consequences. However, employees must understand what sexual harassment is and the implications, which is why any business owner should make managing workplace harassment a priority. An effective way to do this is to provide all your employees with sexual harassment training. All staff members should enroll in a trusted online course to ensure a safe and healthy work environment for everyone. They will learn the different types of harassment and identify behavior so that the workplace boundaries are not crossed.
Implicit or Explicit Requests for Sexual Favors
Suppose an employer, supervisor, or even another employee at any time requests sexual favors from a staff member or determines the conditions of employment, career advancements, and promotions for a member of staff on whether they will agree to perform sexual acts. In that case, it is an incredible violation of basic rights. Whether the request was implicit or explicit, it is sexual harassment and must be reported.
Sexual assault is when an individual intentionally enters your personal space without consent and proceeds to coerce or physically force you to comply with their sexual advances. This physical act is done against the victim’s will and is an act of violence. Sexual violence includes groping, drug-facilitated assault, or rape, which is forced penetration.
Untoward Sexual Advances and Pressure to Interact
Untoward sexual advances can range from continuously harassing a staff member for a date or coercing them to interact sexually. The ramifications of this can also result in the victim feeling pressured to succumb to the advances or brush them off. Many inappropriate advances in the workplace typically involve the perpetrator convincing the victim that any pushback is an overreaction.
Sexually Explicit Discussions
Sexual explicit discussions are inappropriate conversations in the workplace. Communicating sexual fantasies, sexual relations, and stories to one another is a form of sexual harassment. Not only should these discussions not take place in the workplace, but no member of staff should unwillingly be brought into the conversation. In addition to this, catcalling and flirtatious remarks toward any member of the team are highly inappropriate.
Exposing Oneself and Performing Sexual Acts on Oneself
If an individual exposes themselves, takes off their clothes, or begins to perform sexual acts on themselves, this is a violation. It is highly inappropriate in any environment, and every person has the right to refuse to see the explicit behavior. Leering at a co-worker is also a pervasive attack on their comfort and personal space, so all employees must know how to conduct themselves professionally.
Inappropriate Photos and Messages of a Sexual Nature
Sending or showing inappropriate text messages, emails, or photos with sexually explicit content is another form of sexual harassment. If a co-worker engages in this type of harassment, the receiver should report it immediately to put an end to it.
If serious measures aren’t put in place to prevent any form of sexual harassment, it will quickly create a hostile work environment. In any case, victims are in danger, and it is the employer’s responsibility to supervise their employees and monitor their behavior to protect others from harm. Understanding the different types of sexual harassment and ensuring your staff is clear on what sexual harassment is, everyone will feel safe and secure in the work environment.