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Common Misconceptions About Sexual Harassment

It’s unfortunate that sexual harassment in the workplace is fairly common. The whole thing could make you feel extremely uncomfortable. You may fear to lose your job for reporting it. Sexual harassment can happen to anyone. Even if you may have seen it as innocent. The EEOC definition of sexual harassment as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.” However, this definition isn’t all inclusive. There are several misconceptions that people have about sexual harassment. This may put them at an extreme disadvantage.

Harasser must have cruel intentions

We often see the case where the harasser is aiming to get the victim in trouble for not returning a sexual favour. For example, firing them. This however is not always the case. A person may be ignorant of their behaviour or they may not have wanted to intentionally cause harm to the victim. Whatever the case may be, it’s more important the impact the sexual harassment had on the victim than the harasser’s intentions. For example, an employee may ask another co-worker on a date. This may be grounds for sexual harassment even if the harasser did not mean to cause any trouble by asking them that.

Employee must be a direct victim

In cases of sexual harassment, it’s easy to assume that the victim must be directly harassed. This is not true. A person may feel sexually harassed by indirect comments that weren’t specifically made to them. For example, a supervisor makes sexual jokes to his other coworker. If another person walks by and hears these jokes then they still have a case for sexual harassment even though they were not part of the conversation.

Employers are not responsible for non-employees

In many workplaces there are other people around the premises who are not direct employees of the organization. It is law that employers must provide an environment free of sexual harassment. So with that, employers are also responsible if sexual harassment comes from customers, contractors, vendors, consultants, volunteers, or anyone else in the work environment. For example, a client of the organization makes sexual comments to an employee of the company. The firm is still responsible and that employee still has a ground to sue for sexual harassment.

It can only happen between a man and woman

When people think of sexual harassment, they may typically think of situations where the male employee/supervisor takes advantage of a female victim. This is not how all sexual harassment is conducted. Sexual harassment can occur between genders or between people of the same gender. An example of this would be if a female employee makes sexual comments to another female employee. It still has a ground for sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It can happen to anyone anywhere. Many people hold these common misconceptions about sexual harassment. They may have been victim to it and not have even known it. When dealing with this delicate subject matter, you need someone who will put your mind at ease. It’s a scary situation to be in. You need someone who is experienced in sexual harassment and will fight for you. Los Angeles Sexual Harassment Attorney at JML Law, is here to help you. Simply call them today for a free consultation at 818-610-8800 or use this contact form.


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