Does physical touching need to be involved for conduct to be considered sexual harassment?
No, physical contact does not have to take place for sexual harassment to have occurred. Sexual harassment can also be verbal. It can take the form of inappropriate sexual jokes, derogatory comments, lewd remarks or propositions for sex. Verbal harassment that is hostile or offensive has the potential to affect an employee just as seriously as physical harassment.
There are many other ways in which sexual harassment can occur in the workplace without any physical touching. Displaying pornographic images, making sexual gestures, sending obscene emails, threatening retaliation after a sexual advance is rejected, or offering benefits in return for sexual favors are examples of unwanted conduct that can qualify as sexual harassment.
In California, the legal definition of sexual harassment covers many types of offensive behavior. What can be considered sexual harassment may vary based on the circumstances. When sexual harassment does not involve direct physical contact, it typically must be severe or pervasive enough to create a hostile work environment and be unlawful. However, under California law, one incident of harassment can be enough to create a hostile work environment.
Speaking up in cases of workplace harassment can be difficult. An experienced employment law attorney can answer all your questions about work-related sexual harassment and explain your legal options. Contact Erlich Law Firm for a free consultation.
Other Sexual Harassment FAQs:
- Can I file a sexual harassment claim against my employer if I was harassed outside of the workplace?
- Can I file a sexual harassment claim even if there were no witnesses?
- Can my employer fire me if I complain about sexual harassment?
- Can my employer retaliate against me for filing a sexual harassment claim?
- Can sexual harassment victims stay anonymous?
- Does online harassment count as sexual harassment?
- Does physical touching need to be involved for conduct to be considered sexual harassment?
- Does verbal harassment count as sexual harassment?
- How can a lawyer help me with my sexual harassment claim?
- How long do I have to file a sexual harassment claim?
- I was sexually harassed at work do I need an attorney?
- What evidence do you need to prove sexual harassment at work?
- What happens if you are laid off after being sexually harassed?
- What is sexual harassment at work?
- What is sexual harassment in the workplace?
- What should I do if I was sexually harassed at work?
- What should I do to protect my legal rights if I have been sexually harassed at work?
- What types of sexual harassment can occur in California workplaces?
- Who do I tell if I feel that I am being sexually harassed at work?
- Who is liable for sexual harassment in the workplace?
FREE CASE REVIEW
When employees' legal rights are violated, we take time to explain their legal options, listen to their goals, and aggressively argue their case until we achieve the resolution they deserve.