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Sexual Harassment Archives

Understanding hostile work environment harassment

Most in Minneapolis may only associate sexual harassment as unwelcome romantic overtures or sexual advances. Yet harassment in the workplace goes far beyond that. Any sexually suggestive conduct that contributes to one feeling uneasy at work may qualify as sexual harassment, as well. There is a name for this form of harassment: hostile work environment. The United Nations defines this as an atmosphere brought on by sexual behavior or actions directed at an employee specifically because of his or her sex that is both intimidating, offensive or hostile and impacts that particular employees performance.

State representative in middle of sexual harassment scandal

Accusations of sexual harassment can tarnish the reputation of any organization in Minneapolis, whether it be a private company or a civic group. When cases do arise, many involved may be quick to encourage a settlement in an attempt to silence the victim and make the entire matter go away. However, in some cases, having one's claims of harassment reach the public's ear may be what is necessary to both vindicate the accuser and prompt the changes needed to ensure that such actions do not occur again.

5 behaviors that are considered sexual harassment in the workplace

Employees often do not fully understand the broad scope of sexual harassment in the workplace. You need to be familiar with Minnesota sexual harassment laws to know if you have a civil case. It includes hostile environment harassment, in which the unwelcome behaviors cause your work environment to become hostile, offensive or intimidating. It also encompasses quid pro qui harassment, in which engaging in unwanted sexual conduct is necessary for you to obtain or retain employment, promotions or raises. The following are five examples of sexual harassment.

Lawsuit claims woman was sexually harassed by her work supervisor

Most in Minneapolis may think that sexual harassment cases only involve incidents where one continues to make unwanted romantic overtures towards another. However, this kind of harassment is not limited to inappropriate words and actions that express or imply an attraction, but also extend to any activity that may be degrading and embarrassing that is of a sexual nature. This can include teasing and taunting, or crude jokes or stories. Plus, while it may come as a surprise to many, alleged occurrences of sexual harassment can even be common between members of the same sex.

The long-lasting impact of sexual harassment

The effects of sexual harassment are far more than just an uncomfortable work situation in Minnesota. According to Live Science, sexual harassment has the capability of damaging the health of the target of the harassment. With the number of people experiencing sexual harassment at work at 45 percent of men and 70 percent of women, it has the potential of creating a significant problem.

Steps employers should take after a sexual harassment complaint

Any allegations of sexual harassment in Minnesota need to be taken seriously. There are a few key steps that should take after receiving a sexual harassment complaint against an employee, whether from another employee, client, customer or some other person associated with the company.

Employers held accountable for third party sexual harassment

Not all sexual harassment in the workplace involves coworkers or supervisors. In some instances in Minnesota, the harassment comes from a third party, such as customers, clients, vendors, consultants or other outsiders. However, no matter who performs the harassment, it remains the employer's role to protect the employee.

Work and sexual harassment: How should you handle it?

Sexual harassment remains a common workplace problem, despite the efforts being taken to eliminate it in Minnesota and elsewhere. According to Forbes, less than 30 percent of the women who reported in a survey that they had experienced sexual harassment at work actually did something about it. If you experience anything that you feel is considered sexual harassment, you do have recourse you can take.

Ways to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace

Since the 1960s, sexual harassment has been against the law, but that does not mean it has vanished in Minnesota or elsewhere in the U.S. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the eradication of sexual harassment relies substantially on prevention, including through policies and/or education.   

Common misconceptions about workplace sexual harassment

Unfortunately, sexual harassment is an ongoing problem in workplaces throughout Minnesota and elsewhere. In fact, a 2015 survey by Cosmopolitan magazine of 2,235 women workers between 18 and 34-years-old found that approximately one out of every three has been the victim of workplace sexual harassment. Although this is a well-known issue, workers may not understand what constitutes sexual harassment on-the-job.