Request for Sex
The workplace is not the kind of environment where people want to feel threatened or unsafe. Yet, when someone makes an unwanted request for sex, the tension and anxiety in a workplace can immediately rise. The advances can start out subtle, but they might persist and become more forceful. The victim suddenly does not feel safe to walk in certain parts of their work area, and they even start to find it difficult to feel safe going to the restroom.
In some cases, this sort of sexual abuse can go on for a very long time before the victim finds the courage to speak up. In many instances, the victims never speak up and either try to move onto new jobs or continue to put up with this sort of harassment just to keep their jobs. The situation can be made even worse if the human resources department either ignores the requests for help, or tries to stifle the situation to avoid the negative publicity.
The Realities of Request for Sex in the Workplace
An unwanted request for sex is a form of harassment that is covered by the various sexual harassment laws on the books in New York State. These laws apply to all individuals and all situations and not just male-on-female occurances. Same sex situations and female-on-male harassment are very real and create dangerous work environments for people all over the state.
Your job is your livelihood and the thought of losing your job because of the conduct of others can be frustrating. Not only that, but an unwanted request for sex is a violation of your human rights that can have a wide range of repercussions. Even a request for sex in passing can cause a worker to lose trust in their workplace and develop a variety of issues that can start to affect their lives.
The Types of Requests for Sex
A request for sex does not need to be strictly a suggestion of sexual activity. It can be sexually suggestive language that makes the victim feel uncomfortable and violated. It can be the repeating of sexually inappropriate jokes, or it can be inappropriate correspondence on paper or in a digital format.
The requests do not need to be verbal to be considered harassment. Inappropriate body contact or suggestive actions by someone can be considered harassment and would be covered by these request for sex laws. Any situation that is created by unwanted sexual comments, suggestions, or advances is considered harassment and falls under state laws.
The Sources of Harassment
One of the most common misconceptions about this form of sexual harassment is that it must happen between a manager and subordinate to be illegal. Any form of sexual harassment from one co-worker to another at any level may be actionable. This includes managers who try to use their authority for sexual favors, co-workers who threaten each other, or even visitors to a business who threaten employees. Anyone can harass a person in the workplace and there are no boundaries in place to separate those types of actions.
Protecting Your Rights
The laws that are on the books to protect people from harassment in the workplace do not differentiate from the types or severity of the harassment. Whether it is a loud request for sex or an implied request from a gesture or innuendo, your rights are protected and you need to know how to fight back. This sort of harassment, if gone unchecked, can snowball into bigger problems if it is not stopped.
Your workplace trauma may not stay at work. When you are the victim of this sort of sexual harassment, it may affect your other professional relationships, your personal relationships, and your ability to do your job. Your entire career could be ruined because of this type of harassment if you do not stand up for your rights and do something.
How You Can Take Action
Your human resources department is there to be the place where you can file a complaint and have harassment brought out into the light. If you feel more comfortable, you can start your process by talking to your immediate manager. It is their job to escalate such incidents to a higher level to get them to stop. If your company has a process in place for reporting sexual harassment, then follow that process to get the justice you deserve.
Your employer should act swiftly when it comes to responding to your sexual harassment claim. But sometimes victims feel as though their situation is getting swept under the rug. Some companies do not want the publicity that comes with these types of complaints, and there are even instances where companies will protect certain employees from persecution. In extreme cases, the victim could find themselves being fired from their job on a fabricated charge just so the company can have the whole thing go away.
If your story is not being heard or you have suffered adverse action because you reported a sexual harassment incident, then consider contracting the services of a qualified legal representative. Once the company has refused to take action even after you have gone through their reporting process, the company then becomes part of the problem. Attempting to take on a company under those conditions on your own can be difficult. We are here to be your professional legal representation.
Call Us Right Now for Help
Your workplace should not be a source of terror and intimidation based on sexual harassment. You should not have to suffer just because a co-worker or manager has no respect for your humanity or your individuality. We encourage you to contact one of our professional and experienced attorneys immediately to get the type of justice you deserve.
When you have tried to follow the rules but wound up getting harmed, it is time for you to stand up for yourself. Our lawyers have helped people in your situation before to gain back their self-respect, their dignity, and their self-worth. Call our sexual harassment attorneys for a consultation and let us show you exactly how we can help you to fight back against sexual harassment.