What is Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?

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Sexual harassment is by far the most common form of workplace harassment. Under state and federal law, unlawful sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, under any of the following conditions: (a) submission to such conduct is made a condition of employment, either expressly or impliedly, (b) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting that individual, or (c) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

Examples of sexual harassment include unwelcome sexual propositions or marriage proposals; unwelcome hugging, kissing, or other offensive physical contact of a sexual nature; unwelcome lewd gestures, remarks, or innuendoes; unwelcome discussions of sexual practices or anatomy; and unwelcome sexually offensive posters, photographs, drawings, cartoons, jokes, stories, nicknames, or comments about appearance.

An employer has the obligation to protect employees from unlawful sexual harassment by its employees, as well as by third parties such as vendors and customers.

Not only is the employer liable for sexual harassment, but we also pursue the individual harasser. Furthermore, employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who report sexual harassment.

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