Sexual harassment in the workplace is not as obvious as you might think. According to Business Insider, lots of behaviors fall into the category of harassment, which prevents some victims from recognizing it, even when it happens to them.
While it is up to your employer to create a healthy, inclusive environment for all staff, you should also know what to look for. Here are a few signs of harassment and what you can do about them.
You have spoken out, but the behaviors continue
Harassers often ignore reason and logic. If you have confronted the person and explained you feel uncomfortable, it has likely fallen on deaf ears. This is because they might not believe they are doing anything wrong, or they might not care about your discomfort. Compare this behavior to a reasonable person, who is likely to cease unwanted behaviors to prevent offense.
You are afraid to report the issue because of retaliation
When you ask for behaviors to stop directly, but they do not, the next step is to report the issue to a supervisor or human resource worker. However, seeing the hostile response to others who have reported similar issues might give you pause. This is a clear indication of an unhealthy work environment. Employers must address employee complaints reasonably. Not only is it the right thing to do, employers are also compelled by law when it comes to harassment and discrimination.
You feel like you are being punished
Sexual harassment and discrimination does not always involve unwanted romantic advances. It can also entail denial of raises or promotions because of your gender. This often occurs in male-dominated professions, where there are only one or two women on staff.
All workers deserve fair and proper treatment. If your employer is unwilling to intervene, you must take further steps to report the issue and pursue justice.