Recognizing Sexual Harassment
Despite the progress that has been made in the fight against workplace sexual harassment, many myths and misconceptions persist. These can make it difficult for people to recognize sexual harassment, even when it is happening to them. Before abuse can be eliminated from American workplaces, all employees need to be educated about what sexual harassment looks like.
Who can be Victims, Who can be Perpetrators
One of the enduring myths about sexual harassment is that it is only something men to do women. This is simply not the case. Men and women can both be victims or perpetrators. Harassment can also take place between people of the same sex. No matter who is involved, it is never acceptable.
Kinds of Harassment
Legally sexual harassment is divided into two different types:
- Quid pro quo: This is a Latin phrase that basically means “tit for tat.” Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when a person offers a job, promotion, or other benefit in exchange for sexual acts. Legally, it does not matter how the person receiving the offer reacts, even if he or she accepts. Just making the offer is illegal harassment.
- Hostile work environment: This is a pervasive form of abuse in which management turns a blind eye towards harassment or even joins in. The harassment may include unwanted physical touch, vulgar or suggestive language, posting offensive material, or other behaviors that make co-workers feel uncomfortable.
Contact an Austin Employment Lawyer
If you have been a victim of sexual harassment at the workplace, you do not have to accept it. To learn about ways you can fight back, contact Austin sexual harassment lawyers The Melton Law Firm at 512-330-0017.