What is Considered Sexual Harassment?

What is Considered Sexual Harassment?
Oct 07, 2021

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) found that around 75% of people who experience workplace harassment fail to bring it up to a manager. One major reason is that employees fear that they will be retaliated against at work. However, employees should know that state and federal laws protect them from getting fired for reporting sexual harassment in the workplace.

To help you verify that you have a valid claim, our Los Angeles employment law attorneys explain what actions are considered sexual harassment.

What Is Sexual Harassment?

Some workplace conduct is clearly sexual harassment, such as unwanted physical contact, requests for sexual favors, and more. However, sexual harassment can still happen in the workplace, although it may occur in more subtle forms. Here are the qualifications needed to have a valid sexual harassment employment law claim.

  • Quid pro quo harassment: This occurs when a supervisor’s request for sexual favors or other sexual conduct results in a tangible job action. Examples include “I’ll give you the promotion if you sleep with me” or “I’ll fire you unless you go out with me.”
  • Hostile work environment: This occurs when an employee is subjected to unwelcome physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature that is so severe or pervasive as to alter the employee’s working conditions or create an abusive work environment.

Types of Behaviors that Are Considered Sexual Harassment

Below we have put together a list of behaviors that are considered sexual harassment.

  • Spreading sexual rumors of a sexual or romantic nature
  • Repeated hugs or unwanted touching
  • Leaving unwanted gifts of a sexual or romantic nature
  • Making sexual jokes
  • Asking an employee about their sexual life
  • Employers discussing their sex life in front of employees
  • Commenting on the attractiveness of others in front of an employee
  • Repeated compliments of an employee’s appearance

Facing sexual harassment in the workplace? Contact our Los Angeles employment law attorneys today at (213) 310-8301 to schedule a confidential consultation!

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