Sometimes, being sexually harassed at work is not the blatant affair that we see on TV or in the movies. Unfortunately, this may mean that even after seeing it dramatized time and time again, we may be ill-equipped to deal with it effectively in real life. More often than not, sexual harassment comes in more subtle forms which, none- the- less will leave you feeling uncomfortable and vulnerable. It is important to remember that even though we so often see women as the victims of sexual harassment, men are affected too, and should not feel ashamed to admit it. So if you have ever found yourself wondering; "Am I being sexually harassed at work?", then continue reading NYC Lawyer Joe Carbonaro's blog to discover the signs.
Is Sexual Harassment Just a Joke in Your Workplace?
It may be the case that in your workplace, being sexually harassed is something to joke about, not anything that people take seriously. The fact is that you should not have to put up with any type of harassment at work. That's not what you signed up for, and it is not what you are getting paid to do. Whether you are starting at a new company, or you have been there for years; always make sure to familiarize yourself with the organizations’ code of conduct, and their rules on sexual harassment.
Are Rude and Offensive Emails or Notes Being Sent Around Your Office?
Sending and receiving E-mails, notes, and memos are a day to day occurrence that most offices attend to with the utmost professionalism. However, if you find that your messages are containing, rude, offensive, or even sexually explicit content, this is certainly a type of harassment that you no longer need to endure. Now a days, the term ‘Sexual Harassment’ may be thrown around lightly, or the lines may seem a bit blurry; but we all know that fundamental gut feeling which tells us that something is wrong. Be sure to save these messages, because that best proof that you can have in these types of suits is written proof.
Are Coworkers or Bosses Asking Sexual Questions?
Sexual questions do not always have to be explicit, yet they may be. Instead we are referring to being repeatedly asked out on a date after many refusals or asking questions about your personal sexual history. That information is none of their business, and you should not feel obligated to answer, even if you are subsequently teased for your choice of silence on the subject. Questions may also include inquires on your sexual orientation; this may however fall under Gender Harassment, but should be dealt with all the same. In any of these scenarios, don’t be afraid to speak up; we often see that these acts are not always with the intent of sex, but rather with the intent of obtaining power. As soon as you let them get away with creating an uncomfortable work environment, you have given them that power.
Finally, Have You Been Touched, Pinched, Rubbed, Grabbed, or Patted Making You Feel Uncomfortable?
Being outright touched, pinched, rubbed, grabbed, or patted is not professional, and if you have found yourself in this obvious display of sexual harassment be sure to talk to someone immediately. Other forms of blatant sexual harassment include being asked sexual favors, having sexual advances make on you, or any other written, verbal, or physical act of a sexual nature. In short, if your coworker or boss is creating an environment in your workplace that feels intimidating, hostile, or offensive, then you need to take action by talking to someone with experience in this area.
Remember, you are not alone; always trust your instincts, and don’t be afraid to speak up. Being sexually harassed is sometimes hard to prove so always, whenever you possibly can, get things in writing.
Joe Carbonaro has extensive experience with cases of sexual harassment. If you think that you may be being harassed, contact NYC Lawyer Joe Carbonaro to see how he can help you- he is a specialist in employment law and sexual harassment suits.