Is it sexual harassment if the abuser is the same sex as you?

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2022 | Sexual Harassment

The term sexual harassment applies to many situations, but the wording confuses some people. There are those who assume their case did not actually sexual harassment because the person intimidating or mistreating them is the same sex or gender as they are.

Despite the common assumption that people must be of different sexes for sexual harassment to occur, the reality is that it could easily involve two people of the same sex. Harassment from someone who uses the same bathroom as you do can be as stressful as opposite-sex harassment.

Some people are same-sex attracted

When it comes to quid pro quo harassment and unwanted flirting, advances could come from anyone. Some people are attracted to people of the same sex or to members of both genders. There could be quid pro quo harassment involving a homosexual or bisexual co-worker that makes you feel very uncomfortable at work.

Attraction isn’t necessary for hostility

A co-worker or supervisor does not have to have a romantic or sexual interest in you to create a hostile work environment for you. They could gossip about you, make jokes at your expense or otherwise negatively impact your relationship with your co-workers.

Keeping records of the misconduct that you experience can help you better determine if the behavior of your coworkers or supervisor actually meet the criteria for a sexual harassment claim. Once you validate your concerns that your work experiences constitute sexual harassment, you can report it to your employer. If the company doesn’t take the appropriate steps to address the issue, you may need to involve regulatory agencies and the courts.

Fighting back against sexual harassment protects you and others who might eventually work at the same company.

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