Sexual harassment and remote workplaces: How it happens

Remote work is increasingly gaining popularity amongst workers and employers alike. While workers love the flexibility, organizations are receptive to the cost-savings benefits associated with reduced utilities and other bills when their employees work from home.

Unfortunately, the rise of remote working has not eliminated the problem of sexual harassment. If you are a victim of sexual harassment that is attributable to your work, it is important that you take steps to protect your rights. But how does sexual harassment happen in a remote workplace?

Here are some of the ways virtual sexually harassment happens:

Sending unsolicited sexual messages

Most often, virtual workers rely on text-based messaging applications like email, texts and Whatsapp messaging as the default modes of communicating with their teams.

Sexual harassment occurs when team members send messages that are sexually suggestive or have explicit connotations. Sexually-inappropriate memes, videos and other material can create a hostile environment for employees. Some workers may even take advantage of direct communication methods (email or messaging) to proposition other employees for dates or sexual favors.

Misconducts during video or phone calls

You’ve probably heard of zoom-meeting mishaps. Video-conferencing can also become a platform for unsolicited sexual conduct. This can take the form of inappropriate setting, indecent exposure or offensive dressing.

Video conferencing can also lead to unwelcome intrusions into an employee’s privacy. Likewise, commenting or taking and sharing screenshots of co-workers during video-conferencing can amount to harassment, especially if those are spread around online.

Virtual sexual harassment happens in a variety of ways. Knowing your legal options can help you safeguard your rights while pursuing a sexual harassment case.




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