With more people than ever working from home, some people might wrongfully think that reports of sexual harassment will be decreasing. Unfortunately, sexual harassment can take place digitally as well as in person, and individuals who have suffered from sexual harassment on the job (even while working from home) may have options and rights when it comes to reporting and responding to sexual harassment while working from home. Other workers might find themselves exposed to more instances of sexual harassment than ever. For example, service workers who are now returning to their jobs, might find themselves facing more unwanted advances from customers than ever before, as many people emerge from quarantine for the first time. Employers have a responsibility to protect workers from sexual harassment and unwanted advances from customers and clients, and employers have a responsibility to take action against sexual harassment, even if it takes place digitally. Moore & Associates is a sexual harassment law firm in Houston, Texas that works with victims who have had to leave jobs, have had career setbacks, and who have faced damages due to sexual harassment.
Understanding How Online Work Can Lead to Sexual Harassment
How can the shift to online work lead to new instances of sexual harassment? Women who work online could face stalking, bullying, and if they post information publicly to a workplace social media account or have a public profile, they could sometimes run the risk of receiving sexually explicit messages or e-mails. Employers have a responsibility to address sexual harassment when it occurs. Sometimes this can be as simple as blocking online users who are sexually harassing workers, and sometimes it can mean addressing instances of stalking or online violence against workers. Sometimes co-workers engage in this kind of behavior. If a co-worker or manager is sending sexually explicit or offensive e-mails or text messages, you have the right to ask that this stop. Your workplace should have a specific policy prohibiting sexual harassment on online work forums and in e-mails, messages, or video conferences. Online harassment can often be easier to prove, because there will often be a written record of messages or e-mails. However, because communications are happening online or through text, it is also more likely that comments might be taken out of context.
If you experience sexual harassment on the job while working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, the process for addressing the harassment is still similar to the process you’d take when addressing sexual harassment in the office. It is important to let the person who made the sexually harassing comment know that you don’t appreciate the behavior. Record and document the instance. Take screen shots, save e-mails. Finally, report the incident to human resources. Usually these steps are sufficient to stop sexual harassment in its tracks. But what if sexual harassment continues? If human resources fails to take steps to stop sexual harassment on the job, victims may suffer from a range of issues. Some may end up leaving the job, or ask to be moved to another department, or may experience career setbacks. This can be costly for victims and for their careers. If you believe your employer failed to address sexual harassment, you may have certain rights under the law. For example, you may be able to make a formal government complaint and you may have the right to seek damages for your losses stemming from your employer’s failure to address the harassment. If you have questions about your rights if you have experienced sexual harassment on the job, the sexual harassment lawyers at Moore & Associates in Houston, Texas may be able to help you. Contact our attorneys today to learn more about your rights and the next steps you may be able to take under the law.
Remote Sexual Harassment is Still Sexual Harassment
Digital sexual harassment can be just as devastating as sexual harassment that takes place in person. It can feel like an invasion of your space, interfere with your ability to perform on the job, and even affect your career. In the era of COVID-19, the workplace has changed dramatically for many of us. Many are working from home and many others are finding themselves returning to work in a changed work environment. However, the rules regarding sexual harassment on the job have not changed. A hostile work environment is still problematic, even if you are working from home. Moore & Associates is a sexual harassment law firm in Houston, Texas that works with individuals who have suffered from sexual harassment on the job. If you have experienced sexual harassment, you are not alone. Moore & Associates may be able to help. Reach out to our attorney today or connect with USAttorneys.com to get matched with Moore & Associates.