In the modern workplace, more and more things have gone virtual in recent years. Because of that, some of the problems of old workplaces have cleared up. However, new problems have also been created, and old problems have changed and continue to persist.
This, unfortunately, includes sexual harassment, which continues in many insidious forms to this day.
The new face of sexual harassment
The New York Times discusses sexual harassment in the modern workplace. Some people mistakenly believe that sexual harassment cases have dropped in recent years due to a decrease in face-to-face interaction between employees. However, that is not the case.
Rather, perpetrators take advantage of technology in order to sexually harass their fellow coworkers or employees to an even greater degree than before, in some cases. Virtual communication makes it easier than ever to reach out to others at any time of day, and with a relative degree of privacy.
Methods of sexual harassment include via video chat, private messaging, photo attachments and emails. Perpetrators may send victims explicit material, inappropriate photos of themselves, or messages soliciting sexual favors.
Perpetrators can also still threaten victims or attempt to bribe them in exchange for sexual favors, which was one of the most common forms of harassment for in-person work situations as well. This has unfortunately persisted with very little to challenge it.
The one good thing about the shift to technology-based communication is the fact that it is easier than ever to collect proof of harassment. Saving messages and harassing images or video recordings can go a long way if a worker decides to take someone to court for their behavior.