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5 subtle signs of sexual harassment

On Behalf of | Jun 21, 2024 | Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment in the office can take many forms, ranging from overt acts to subtle behaviors that may go unnoticed or unaddressed. While blatant forms of harassment can be easier to call out, recognizing the subtle signs is crucial to creating a safe and respectful work environment for all employees.

Identifying understated forms of sexual harassment

Even the most seemingly harmless forms of sexual harassment can significantly affect an individual’s well-being and ability to perform their job effectively. These forms may include:

  • Inappropriate jokes or comments about someone’s appearance or personal life
  • Unwelcomed or unwanted physical contact, such as touching, hugging, or standing too close
  • Repeated requests for dates or personal information after being told “no”
  • Sending suggestive emails, texts, or messages
  • Making offensive remarks about someone’s gender or sexual orientation

Recognizing and acknowledging these signs early can help prevent escalation and foster a respectful workplace culture.

What to do if you experience sexual harassment

If you find yourself a victim of sexual harassment, whether subtle or overt, take action immediately. Start by documenting the incidents, including dates, times, and any witnesses. Next, report the behavior to your supervisor, human resources department, or the appropriate organizational authorities. Most organizations have rules and procedures to handle such complaints, which you must understand in order to file your complaint correctly.   

What happens if they ignore your complaint?

If the situation persists or escalates, you may try to seek legal counsel or contact relevant government agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). You have the right to a safe and respectful work environment, and you should not have to tolerate or suffer from any kind of sexual harassment.



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