Workplace Sexual Harassment And Remote Work: Common Examples

By: JML Law | August 29, 2022.
Workplace Sexual Harassment And Remote Work: Common Examples

Both state law and federal law technically protect workers from being victims of sexual harassment in California. Unfortunately, sexual harassment in the workplace continues to be an issue across virtually all industries. According to the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, charges of workplace sexual harassment are increasing, not decreasing, as one would hope.

It’s also important to understand that sexual harassment at work can still occur even if a victim doesn’t technically share a workspace with their coworkers or supervisors. In the age of remote work, when many are able to work exclusively from home, on-the-job sexual harassment has not gone away.

Examples of workplace sexual harassment you may be a victim of even if you work remotely include (but aren’t necessarily limited to) the following:

Sexual Messages

The fact that you might not work in the same office as your coworkers doesn’t mean you don’t communicate with them. Odds are you still correspond with your coworkers and supervisors through emails, phone calls, chats, video calls, and other such means.

Thus, coworkers and supervisors still have opportunities to send such unwanted messages as:

  • Requests/demands for sexual favors (which can include requests that you share sexual photos or engage in “phone sex”)
  • Flirtatious comments of a sexual nature
  • Comments about your sexual attractiveness
  • Questions about your sexual history, sexual preferences, etc.

Those are just a few examples. If you receive any messages like these, be sure to document them. If you can save a message, such as an email, do so. If you can’t, because it came in the form of a comment made during a phone call or other such interaction, make a note of when the comment was made and what was said.

Sexual Imagery or Audio

You might participate in numerous video calls if you work remotely. During these calls, even if no one makes a sexual comment, they could nevertheless commit a form of sexual harassment if they display any sexual images.

Sometimes, this happens overtly. For example, a coworker or supervisor might reveal their genitals during a video call.

However, this form of workplace sexual harassment can also be subtle. You might notice that during video calls with a particular supervisor, they have various examples of sexual inagery on display in the forms of visible pictures, books, magazines, etc.

You may also be the victim of sexual harassment if someone shares sexual audio during a call. For instance, during a phone call, a coworker might make noises that one tends to associate with sexual pleasure or intercourse.

Sexual Discussions

One form of sexual harassment that often goes overlooked consists of one’s coworkers openly engaging in discussions of sex and related topics that can make one feel uncomfortable. These types of discussions can occur in a chat app the same as they can occur in an office.

Unfortunately, remote work has not provided a full escape from workplace sexual harassment. If you’ve been a victim of such treatment or behavior, discuss your case with a workplace sexual harassment attorney at JML Law to learn more about your legal options. Contact us online or call us at 818-610-8800 for more information.

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