3 possible sources of workplace sexual harassment

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2023 | Employment Law |

Employees in Texas expect to receive appropriate wages for the work that they do and to perform their job in a safe environment. There are both state laws and federal laws and regulations that protect the rights of workers when it comes to these workplace expectations.

For example, it is unlawful to subject someone to mistreatment or discrimination at work because of their sex. Unfortunately, sexual harassment remains a consistent issue in many workplaces despite this prohibition. For example, a female engineer in the oil and gas industry may face a lot of misconduct, and the same could be true for someone working as a server at a popular restaurant.

Sexual harassment is a pervasive issue that can originate from many different places. Workers who recognize the most common sources of sexual harassment will have an easier time standing up for themselves when facing workplace misconduct. These are just a few of the parties that are statistically likely to sexually harass a worker.

1. A manager or supervisor

Some people specifically seek out positions of professional authority because they enjoy having power over others. They may leverage that authority to try to demand romantic or sexual favors from their subordinates.

Employees often feel like they cannot fight back against repeated unwanted advances or even demands for sexual favors from those in a position of professional authority.

2. Customers or clients

Someone working for the same company isn’t the only one who may try to leverage someone’s dedication to their job for personal benefit. When a customer knows that a server depends on a gratuity to pay their bills or when a client thinks that a sales professional is desperate to sign a contract, they may try to abuse that financial need for personal benefit.

The same laws that protect workers from harassment within a company also require that employers protect them from abusive customers or clients.

3. Coworkers

The people working out of business can absolutely harass someone with a similar job title. There is no rule that says direct authority over another person is necessary for sexual harassment.

Someone working the same shift as one employee could repeatedly harass them. A group of workers could also potentially create a hostile work environment by targeting one employee with inappropriate jokes or other abusive behavior.

Recognizing and fighting back against sexual harassment can result in compensation for workers who have been mistreated on the job. Making these efforts can also help to force change in company practices that may safeguard future workers from similar mistreatment.