What constitutes sexual harassment at work?

On Behalf of | Nov 12, 2023 | Employment Law

When one is at work in Minnesota, one should not have to worry about dealing with sexual harassment. Being sexually harassed can cause stress while at work, which can also impact a victim when they are not working. Sexual harassment comes in many forms. It’s important for employees to know what constitutes sexual harassment so they can take steps to protect themselves when necessary.  

What is sexual harassment? 

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlines what constitutes sexual harassment concerning employers that have 15 or more employees. Under Title VII, sexual harassment may involve unwanted sexual advances, asking for sexual favors, or any physical or verbal contact of a sexual nature that prohibits a person’s ability to work in a safe environment. Sexual harassment victims may be male or female and the harasser does not have to be of the opposite sex.  

Sexual harassment doesn’t only affect the person being directly harassed but can also impact others who witness the harassment. Victims of sexual harassment have the right to immediately tell the person harassing them to stop and to inform a supervisor. Victims can benefit from keeping detailed notes about everything that happens and any interactions they have with the harasser or supervisor about the incidents.  

Seek help when being harassed at work 

Victims of sexual harassment have the right to seek legal help when harassment happens at work. Employers are responsible for maintaining a safe working environment and that includes dealing with sexual harassment concerns in a timely manner. When this doesn’t happen, victims may wish to file a civil lawsuit. Illinois victims can benefit from speaking with an attorney to understand the steps needed to file a lawsuit against their employer.