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What is non-physical sexual harassment?

On Behalf of | Sep 30, 2021 | Employment Law

As more and more people grow awareness of the issue of sexual harassment at work, more businesses and management teams take steps to prevent it. Unfortunately, prevention is not perfect and cases still happen.

This is especially true of non-physical sexual harassment, which often gets less press and overall attention or focus than sexual harassment coupled with assault.

Coercion and threats

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission takes a look at sexual harassment in the workplace. As mentioned above, sexual harassment with assault often gets the lion’s share of media attention. After all, the stories with physical elements strike the biggest chord of fear in workers everywhere.

While this is very much an ongoing issue in the workplace, non-physical sexual harassment also poses a problem, and one that fewer people seem to have an awareness of. Non-physical sexual harassment typically involves the use of threats or coercion in an attempt to gain sexual favors from a victim. For example, an employer may threaten to fire someone or bribe them with a promotion or raise. The actual physical act does not need to occur in order for an employee in this situation to file sexual harassment charges.

Rumors and derogatory remarks

Other verbal examples of sexual harassment include spreading salacious rumors about an employee’s sex life. Even derogatory comments based on someone’s gender can count as sexual harassment, such as a co-worker remarking that their female cohort should “get back in the kitchen”.

If you have faced any of these issues, consider contacting an attorney. You can see what potential paths of compensation serve you from there.