Many workers and employees go through experiences that make them feel uncomfortable in the workplace. These unpleasant experiences are often linked to verbal and physical abuse related to one’s gender or sexuality. Anyone who is facing such a predicament at work may be a victim of workplace sexual harassment and they should take immediate steps to ensure they are not taken advantage of and to ensure the abuse does not escalate above what a person is already experiencing.
Sexual harassment should never be taken lightly, but many employees are too afraid to come forward and tell a supervisor what they are experiencing because they fear their job will be affected and because the harassment is very often implicit and difficult to prove. Before a person can file a proper sexual harassment complaint to put the perpetrator to justice, they must first understand what sexual abuse is when examined through a legal perspective.
Legally, sexual harassment is broadly defined, and it entails when a person faces unwelcome sexual conduct directed towards them based on their gender. This can be anything from verbal comments of such a nature or physical touching. This form of harassment becomes illegal when it creates a hostile environment in one’s place of work or a person’s job promotion or status is affected based on how they react to these inappropriate advances.
It is important to keep in mind that sexual assault is different from sexual harassment and it includes the more serious form of abuse such as stalking, rape, and actual assault. Anyone who is assaulted in their workplace should contact the police and connect with a sexual harassment attorney as soon as possible to learn more about their legal rights and how they can get compensated for the harm they suffered.
How common is sexual harassment in Maryland?
Unfortunately, workplace harassment is quite common across the United States and statistics show that 81% of women and 43% of men have faced this form of harassment while being employed. Though it is so prevalent, it is not as commonly reported to the police because employees fear the backlash that they will have to face for filing a complaint of such a sensitive nature.
No one should have to suffer silently and be unable to reach their full potential at work because of the actions of an abuser. Anyone facing harassment should contact an attorney and secure their safety as soon as possible so they can thrive in their workplace once again. Employers are responsible for making sure their employees are safe and if they fail to protect them, then they can be questioned by the authorities for their inability to carry on their responsibilities.