When you arrive at your workplace, you may be thinking about the scheduled meetings, your tasks you need to complete, and other job duties. You are likely not considering the ways you may experience physical or emotional harm while you are at work. Unfortunately, some Washington, D.C. metropolitan area employees do experience illegal treatment in their workplace in the form of sexual harassment.
If you believe you are a victim of this type of illegal and unacceptable behavior, you are not alone. You do not have to remain silent. Instead, you can take actions that may stop the unacceptable treatment. It is also helpful to take the time to learn about what behaviors can be as sexual harassment and what you can do to protect your rights in the workplace.
Unacceptable behaviors in the workplace
One helpful fact is that sexual harassment is defined by the impact it had on the victim, not by the perpetrator’s intention. Those who commit these acts may not see their behavior as problematic if they wrongfully believe that they did not mean to cause harm. Examples of different types of unacceptable behaviors in the workplace that may count as harassment include:
- Requests for sexual favors
- Unwelcome sexual advances made toward you or your co-workers
- Unwanted touching, even if the contact appears to be inadvertent
- Lewd jokes and inappropriate conversations initiated by others
- Inappropriate gestures or leering behavior
- Being shown offensive images or pictures
- Emails, texts or jokes of an inappropriate nature
If you experience treatment that makes you feel uncomfortable, afraid or upset, you may be the victim of sexual harassment. It can be intimidating to confront inappropriate treatment in your place of work, but you do have the right to be free of this harassment. You do not have to endure this treatment any longer.
The aftermath of sexual harassment
Victims of sexual harassment may experience significant mental and emotional duress, even if they did not experience physical harm. Your trauma is valid, even without physical scars, and you may have grounds to address this through a civil claim. It may be in your interests to seek guidance and support as you assess your legal options for the best possible outcome to your situation.