Can sexist comments be considered workplace harassment?

Oftentimes, when we hear about sexual harassment, we envision an older male supervisor inappropriately touching, propositioning or making lewd comments about a female colleague. While it’s true that each of those scenarios constitutes sexual harassment, it by no means encompasses all of the possible offenses.

In fact, harassment doesn’t even need to occur between members of the opposite sex to fall within the scope of the legal definition for sexual harassment. According to the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC), both the victim and the perpetrator of harassment could be either a man or a woman, and it could even be between members of the same sex.

Misandrist and misogynist comments count, too

In addition to harassment that is sexual in nature, the EEOC also considers offensive remarks about a person’s sex to be sexual harassment as well. This means that if your supervisor, co-workers or clients have a prejudice against men (misandry) or against women (misogyny) and makes frequent, derogatory comments about men or women in general, that could violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

This amendment makes it unlawful to unfairly discriminate against employees on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. This applies to all conditions and terms of employment including hiring, firing, training, promotions, compensation, benefits and more.

No one should have to submit to a hostile work environment. If while at work, you are frequently subjected to offensive jokes or comments about a particular gender, or if you believe you have been overlooked for advancement opportunities due to your gender, this may qualify you to bring a sexual harassment lawsuit against your employer.



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