When you go to work in the Los Angeles area, you expect fair treatment. You do not expect to receive preferential treatment for any reason other than merit and seniority. Though you have only been on the job for a few months, you have noticed that some of your managers tend to play favorites with some of your co-workers who hang out with them after work.
It is important for you to understand what sexual harassment is. Just because you are not the recipient of it does not mean that you are not affected by it or in a position to report it. Here is a brief overview of what sexual harassment is.
The basis of sexual harassment
Sexual advances do not need to be entirely sexual in nature. They could be date requests, offensive comments about a specific body part or person’s appearance and basically any uninvited comments, gestures, publications and communications about gender, sexual orientation and sex.
For example, anyone in the work environment who makes an obscene comment about Sally’s bosom that she finds offensive is guilty of sexual harassment. Commenting on the color of her dress is not. Another example is if your boss asks you out on a date and you politely decline, and he or she places a hand on you in an inappropriate manner, that violates your right to work in an environment free from bullying and sexual harassment.
Forms of sexual harassment include:
- Sexual and obscene jokes in written, verbal and picture form
- Disparaging comments
- Inappropriate touching and gestures
- Any inappropriate words and advances that make workers uncomfortable
You have an obligation to report sexual harassment. You do not have to be on the receiving end of it. If you witness it going on in the workplace, you can file a report with the human resources department. Sexual harassment that persists in the workplace creates a toxic working environment for everyone and can compromise your health.