Can Sexual Harassment Be Verbal?

If you’re receiving unwanted sexual gestures from someone you work with, you may have questions regarding whether sexual harassment can be verbal.

Read on to learn the answer, and more.

Sexual Harassment Defined

In short, yes. Sexual harassment in the workplace can be verbal, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

According to the EEOC, “It is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person’s sex. Harassment can include ‘sexual harassment’ or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.”

In other words, sexual harassment does not need to be inherently sexual, and can instead comprise of insulting words regarding your sex. For instance, it is unlawful to harass a woman through offensive remarks about women in general.

The victim, as well as the harasser, can be of any sex. Both the harasser and the victim can be of the same sex and sexual harassment can still occur.

Harassment As Opposed To Friendly Comments

The law does not forbid simple teasing, offhand remarks, or one-time events that are minor. Harassment is unlawful when it recurs so often or is so significant that is prompts “a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).”

Anyone Can Commit Sexual Harassment

It’s possible for you to be harassed by your supervisor, a supervisor in another department, a colleague, or a person who isn’t an employee of the company, including a client or a customer.

Examples of Sexual Harassment

Some instances of sexual harassment are as follows:

  • Employment status or advancement relies upon sexual favors, either explicitly or implicitly
  • Physical acts of sexual assault
  • Requests for sexual favors
  • Verbal harassment of a sexual manner, such as jokes referring to sexual acts or sexual orientation
  • Undesired touching or physical contact
  • Unwanted sexual advances
  • Talking about sexual relations, stories, or fantasies in unsuitable places
  • Feeling pressured to contend with someone sexually
  • Uncovering one’s genitals or displaying sexual acts on oneself
  • Unwelcome sexually explicit images or messages.

We’re Here to Help

If you’re experiencing sexual harassment at work, it needs to be stopped immediately. Our attorneys at Limonjyan Law Group are highly experienced in this area of the law and have helped many other people achieve justice. Let us help you, too. Don’t wait—contact our office with your case right away.

Contact our Burbank employment law attorney today at (213) 277-7444 to schedule a consultation!