Unwelcome Requests for Sex in the Workplace

Your time at your workplace should be about productivity, not about dealing with unwanted requests for sex in the workplace. If your co-workers or boss is making inappropriate comments or sexual advances at you then the law is on your side. There are safeguards in place to prevent you from sexual harassment in the workplace. These protections protect people regardless of gender and regardless of who approaches them with an unwelcome request for sex at their workplace.

What is an Unwanted Sexual Request?

An unwanted sexual request is any situation with a sexual base that makes you feel uncomfortable. If you voice your discomfort and your co-worker or boss continues to make sexual requests of you then they become unwanted and illegal.

Obviously, your boss or co-worker asking you for sex in exchange for a promotion or some type of bonus at work is illegal. There are other more nuanced forms of unwanted sexual requests as well. For instance, a co-worker that continues to ask you out on a date or complain to everyone that you will not go out on a date with him can constitute sexual harassment if it is pervasive. Other examples include an employee propositioning you in exchange for favors or if you are threatened with your job if you do not sleep with a co-worker.

Unwanted Sexual Requests and Sexual Harassment

The law defines sexual harassment as sexually based action that creates a hostile work environment or quid pro quo claims. Quid pro quo is simply a Latin expression that means you get a favor in exchange for one. Therefore, any unwanted sexual requests that hinge on a job promotion, benefit, or under the threat of loss of employment qualify as sexual harassment. Continual harassment for a date or sex falls under the hostile work environment section of sexual harassment.

What to do If you are Subject to Unwanted Sexual Requests at Work

If someone makes an unwanted sexual request of you the first thing you need to do is tell them that you do not appreciate the request and it is unwelcome. Technically you cannot claim it is unwelcome unless the person who has propositioned you is aware that you are not comfortable with the discussion. Then you should immediate talk to your boss or if your boss is the perpetrator, your company’s HR department.

At this point, your company’s HR department should take over and follow their official grievance process. If this eliminates the problem, then you have made the world, or at least your work place, better. If this does not resolve the issue and you are still subject to unwanted sexual requests at work, then it is time to contact a lawyer. At this point your company will be in violation of the law and you may be owed compensation. Our trusted sexual harassment lawyers have worked with victims of unwanted requests for sex in the workplace for years, and we know how to properly handle this delicate situation so you can be properly compensated and once again feel safe in the workplace.


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