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What is verbal sexual harassment?

Despite the attempt at protecting workers across the state, workers still face sexual harassment every day. Some examples are more blatant than others. But this does not mean the more subtle examples are any less traumatizing.

This is why verbal sexual harassment needs a brighter light shone on it. After all, it comes in many forms and can cause a victim much psychological distress.

Threats and coercion

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission discusses different forms of sexual harassment. Physical sexual harassment often gets the most media attention due to the extreme nature of it. Not only that, but physical harassment often results in bigger fines and penalties, too.

But verbal sexual harassment often causes just as much of an issue. Not only that, but there are many different forms of verbal sexual harassment. For example, an employer could harass an employee this way by holding their rank over the employee’s head. They may threaten demotion or even firing someone unless an exchange of sexual favors happens. Likewise, they could use their power as a bribe by promising raises or promotions in exchange for sexual favors.

Slander and gossip

Any gossip and slander that involves someone’s sex life counts as verbal sexual harassment, too. This includes rumors about your sexual encounters, preferences and history. It also includes untrue derogatory statements, or outright catcalling and sexual remarks.

Finally, sexual harassment can include any derogatory comments that target your gender. An example may include a coworker telling a female employee to “get back to the kitchen”. However, these comments can get directed at any gender.

If you face such a situation, consider contacting an experienced attorney. They can help you navigate the situation.

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