Common Types of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

A woman pushing away a man’s hand from her shoulderSexual harassment in the workplace is a serious issue that can create a hostile, intimidating, and unwelcoming environment for employees. It undermines an individual’s dignity and well-being, hinders productivity, and can lead to legal consequences for the employer. 

Understanding the various types of sexual harassment in the workplace is crucial for identifying and addressing inappropriate behavior. 

Verbal Sexual Harassment

Verbal sexual harassment encompasses any unwanted comments, jokes, or remarks of a sexual nature that make an individual feel uncomfortable, demeaned, or threatened. Examples include:

  • Suggestive jokes or innuendos.
  • Requests for sexual favors.
  • Explicit descriptions of sexual experiences.
  • Making offensive remarks about someone’s appearance or body.

Even seemingly harmless remarks can contribute to a hostile work environment if persistent and unwelcome.

Physical Sexual Harassment

Physical sexual harassment involves any unwanted physical contact or behavior with sexual overtones. This can range from intentional touching, hugging, or brushing up against someone in an inappropriate manner to more extreme forms of physical assault or coercion. 

Gestures with sexual implications, such as winking, licking lips, or making suggestive body movements, also fall under this category and can create an uncomfortable and intimidating atmosphere.

Visual Sexual Harassment

Visual sexual harassment refers to the display or distribution of sexually explicit or offensive materials in the workplace. This can include displaying inappropriate images, videos, or objects with sexual content, as well as sending emails, text messages, or online messages with sexually suggestive or explicit content. 

Even if the materials are not explicitly pornographic, their presence in the workplace can contribute to a hostile environment if they are unwanted and offensive.

Ending Workplace Harassment: Legal Support in Newport News, VA

Addressing workplace sexual harassment requires understanding the various forms it can take and recognizing the impact it has on individuals and the workplace environment.

If you or someone you know is facing such issues in Newport News, VA, seeking professional legal advice is vital. James H. Shoemaker, Jr., Attorney at Law, specializes in helping victims of workplace harassment.

Schedule a consultation today to discuss your case and explore your legal options. Call James H. Shoemaker at 757.223.4560 to take the first step toward a safer, more respectful workplace.

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