WHATS IS SEXUAL HARASSMENT?

Sexual harassment is unwelcome or unwanted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors. It is not always overt. It can include physical, verbal, visual and subtle overtures. Sexual harassment may be gender related but not necessarily sexually motivated.

YOUR RIGHTS AGAINST SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN WASHINGTON STATE

To some sexual harassment may seem like harmless horseplay but it is far from that. It is not a joke nor an invitation to prey or victimize anyone. It robs victims of their dignity, pride and respect.

Some victims of sexual harassment may not complain out of feelings of embarrassment, fear of being labeled a "whiner" and/or even retaliation from their employer. The bottom line is, sexual harassment is illegal and is a well established law in our federal and Washington State Court systems.

WHAT BEHAVIORS ARE CONSIDERED A FORM OF SEXUAL  HARASSMENT?

WHAT BEHAVIORS ARE CONSIDERED A FORM OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT?

There are names for different types of sexual harassment:

Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment – This form of sexual harassment occurs in a person's place of employment. In this situation of sexual harassment an employer offers an employee certain benefits, such as a job advancement or raise, in exchange for sexual favors. The employer may also use sex and sexual acts as a way to threaten an employee, such as implying that if the employee does not perform the sex acts that he or she will lose their job.

Hostile Workplace Sexual Harassment– This form of sexual harassment is when an employee is forced to work in a hostile environment due to sexual harassment in the workplace. Unwelcomed repeated lewd comments, sexist jokes, exhibiting enlarged sexual organs on dolls, dummies, etc., propositions, and offensive sexual stereotyping are examples of hostile workplace sexual harassment.

Jilted Paramour Sexual Harassment – It is not uncommon that when a relationship is broken, the harasser may retaliate either by anger, jealousy or revenge against the victim. For instance, the jilted paramour may be refused a promotional advancement, training or other job opportunity because of rejecting the harasser's advances.

Gender Stereotype Sexual Harassment– This type of harassment is leveled against a person because of their perceived or known sexual orientation. For instance, a woman man be considered a "butch" or a man effeminate.

Non-Traditional Jobs Held by a Different Gender– Traditionally, when someone said that they worked in a certain trade or profession, stereotyped impressions and preferences would be made about their gender. For instance, until recently, when one thought of a nurse, traditionally one would think of a woman. However, non-traditional jobs are held by both genders. As such, men who hold nontraditional jobs can also be victims of unwanted sexual advances, hostile working environment and retaliation.

I FEEL I'M BEING DISCRIMINATED AGAINST WHAT DO I DO?

If you feel you have been the target or victim of sexual harassment by an employer or co-worker, you may want to:

Immediately put the harasser on notice that their behavior is unwelcomed and unwanted. In most cases, this is enough to stop the behavior . However, if the harassment continues, contact your immediate supervisor or Human Resources. Make your complaint in writing.

If the harassment continues or if you are uncomfortable directly confronting the harasser, keep a record of all interactions you feel to be inappropriate. Included in your documentation should be all relevant dates, times, places and witnesses, if any.

Check your company’s policy for any procedures that need to be followed in reporting sexual harassment claims. Where possible, your claim should be reported in writing. You should use any complaint or grievance system available to you.

If such a procedure does not exist, you should report the harassment to your direct supervisors. If your supervisor is the harasser, report your claim to their immediate supervisor and/or the Human Resource Department..

Once the alleged harassment is reported, your company is obligated by law to conduct an investigation and take immediate action against the harasser, if warranted.

If you feel your employer has not fulfilled this obligation and the harassment or retaliation has ensued, contact Beverly Grant Law Firm, P.S. at once. Please don't hesitate. Speak to an experienced attorney today!

MEN AND SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Traditionally women were usually the victims of unwanted sexual overtures both verbal and physically. Today, men also hold non-traditional jobs, e.g. nurses, as contrasted to women in the building trades who have been subjected to unwelcomed sexual overtures. Also, men can be victims of other men who have sexually harassed and the same for women who are sexually harassed by females. IT IS ALL ABOUT CONTROL, MANIPULATION & POWER

TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT

SEXUAL HARASSMENT IS NOT NECESSARILY GENDER SPECIFIC, True or False?

ANSWER: True

Explanation: Traditionally women were usually the victims of unwanted sexual overtures both verbal and physically. Today, men also hold non-traditional jobs, e.g. nurses, as contrasted to women in the building trades who have been subjected to unwelcomed sexual overtures.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT VICTIMS MUST BE OVER 18, True or False?

ANSWER: False.

Explanation: In some instances, physical overtures towards a minor child can subject the harasser to criminal charges, depending on the activities that s/he is complaining about in regards to the harasser.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT IS USUALLY ABOUT:

A. Sex
B. Power
C. Control
D. Manipulation
E. All of the above

ANSWER: E. ALL OF THE ABOVE

ONLY AN EMPLOYER OR SUPERVISOR OR CO-WORKER CAN BE HELD LIABLE FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT, True or False?

ANSWER: False.

A vendor or third party can be held liable for sexual harassment and the company who contracted with him/her also can be held liable.

A. Retaliation
B. Welcomed overtures.
C. Verbal welcomed overtures
D. Hostile working environment
E. All The Above

ANSWER: C.

Explanation: The controlling word in sexual harassment is "welcomed". If the victim and harasser both participate in "friendly" banter, sexual harassment may be hard to prove, as the alleged victim is participating in the activities that s/he is complaining about in regards to the harasser