The Broad Definition of Sexual Harassment

Most people think that sexual harassment is limited. Women are often not fully aware of what sexual harassment in the workplace is and who can commit it. While most women are aware that they cannot be made to perform sexual favors or accept sexual advances to keep their job or earn a promotion, sexual harassment in the workplace goes well beyond this.

Image of woman being harassed at work

The Primary Definition of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment in Florida is defined as behavior, statements, or actions that are sexual in nature and contribute to a hostile work environment. What constitutes sexual harassment in terms of behavior and statements can be a bit arbitrary, and its definitions can vary across company literature. However, any sexual or romantic advance that is unwanted and unwarranted can be considered sexual harassment.

Sexual Harassment by Peers

Many women believe that sexual behavior and statements are only sexual harassment if it comes from management or supervisors. This could not be further from the truth. Anyone in your workplace can violate sexual harassment laws. Here are some examples of sexual harassment that could happen at any level.

  • A co-worker patting you on the back or arm, making you uncomfortable
  • A vendor making a sexual joke to another employee in your hearing that offends you
  • Excessive flirting, especially after telling the individual to stop
  • Using sexual language or making sexual jokes, which are inappropriate for the workplace

All of these types of sexual harassment are simply examples of the most common situations.

Additional Rules for Management

There are some additional forms of sexual harassment that can only be perpetrated by your supervisors or the management of the company. A supervisor or manager cannot ask for sexual favors or make sexual innuendos in an attempt to affect your employment situation. This includes firing, hiring, earning promotions, changing departments, or getting other benefits that you are entitled to.

If you have been the victim of sexual harassment in your workplace, contact us today for more information or to schedule your consultation.