Discrimination of any kind is never okay, especially in the workplace. Sexual harassment is when someone feels uncomfortable or threatened by unwanted sexual attention from a person in a position of power, like a supervisor, co-worker, or director. And unfortunately, it’s not the only kind of discrimination that can occur at the office.
Sex discrimination in the workplace is not a recent phenomenon. It’s been illegal for decades. It has taken many forms, including sexual harassment, harassment based on sex, and discrimination based on sex. Here are five things you need to know.
1. It Can Happen at Any Level
While sexual harassment can happen at any level in the workplace (from a high-level executive down to a low-level stock clerk), it occurs most often at the middle management level. For example, someone who has been sexually harassed at their job may not be able to complain about it because they do not have the authority or power to do so.
For this reason, employers must have policies and procedures that prevent sexual harassment from happening in the first place.
2. You Shouldn’t Feel Afraid to Seek Legal Help
If you are being sexually harassed, there is no reason to be afraid of reprisal. You need to seek legal help to help you fight for your rights and justice. You only need to research attorneys specializing in employment law and seek legal counsel. These are experienced lawyers who will handle your case.
3. It Can Happen Anywhere
Sexual harassment can happen in any workplace, including the office, the factory, or the farm. It can happen at a construction site, in a hotel room, on an airplane, or in a restaurant. Sexual harassment happens to men and women across different fields and industries.
4. It Affects the Victim’s Self-Esteem and Mental Health
People are often reluctant to report sexual harassment because they fear being seen as “whiners” or “troublemakers” who should just deal with it themselves rather than complain about it to their employer. This often leads to the victims suffering silently and alone for years until they can act against their employer and win back their dignity and self-esteem.
In addition, being sexually harassed can severely damage the mental health of the victims who endure it for years without complaint. It is wrong for this to happen. Victims must be encouraged to stand against this discrimination.
5. It May Lead to Other Forms of Discrimination
Sexual harassment is a form of workplace discrimination that often leads to other forms of discrimination, such as unfair dismissal, victimization, and constructive dismissal. This is because the harasser might deliberately target the victim for this type of behavior. The harasser will know that the victim would be reluctant to report it, and they will use this tactic to get rid of them.
In some cases, if the victim does not complain about sexual harassment and their colleagues do, they will also be fired for “disrupting” the workplace environment.
Sexual discrimination in the workplace occurs at all levels of an organization. It can take many forms, from subtle micro-aggressions to overt sexual harassment.
From being overlooked for promotion to experiencing sexual harassment, people face these and other workplace discrimination forms. We hope that this article has enlightened you regarding these issues.