How Do I Know If I’m Being Sexually Harassed?

Sexual harassment is more than the typical “you’ll get ahead in this company if you sleep with me” statement.  It isn’t always so obvious and direct.  The following are just some of the many forms of sexual harassment under California law.

EXAMPLES OF VERBAL AND WRITTEN SEXUAL HARASSMENT 

  • Asking a person out for dates or drinks or to have sex
  • Asking intrusive and sexually explicit questions, including questions about orientation or history
  • Making jokes about sex
  • Making sexual comments or innuendos, including graphic comments about a person’s body
  • Using sexually degrading words to describe someone
  • Using derogatory comments, slurs, or nicknames, like sweet tart, sex kitten, sexy or cutie
  • Name-calling, like slut, bitch, or whore
  • Rating a person’s sexuality or appearance

EXAMPLES OF PHYSICAL SEXUAL HARASSMENT

  • Making sexual advances
  • Giving or asking for kisses, hugs, or massages
  • Touching, patting, punching, stroking, squeezing, tickling or brushing against a person
  • Leering or staring at body parts, such as a woman’s breast or man’s derriere
  • Making sexual gestures
  • Impeding or blocking a person’s movement
  • Attempting or physically/sexually assaulting a person

EXAMPLES OF VISUAL SEXUAL HARASSMENT

  • Sharing sexually inappropriate images or videos, including pornography, with co-workers
  • Displaying or discussing sexually suggestive materials, objects, pictures, calendars, cartoons, or posters

EXAMPLES OF INTIMIDATION TYPE SEXUAL HARASSMENT

  • Spreading rumors about a person’s sexuality or sexual activities
  • Offering employment benefits in exchange for sexual favors
  • Threatening or bribing a person to succumb to sexual activity
  • Retaliating against a person for rejecting sexual advances or objecting to harassing conduct
  • Stalking a person

Because this only provides some of the many forms of sexual harassment, if you think you are being sexually harassed, consult an attorney. Should you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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