How Has Working From Home Impacted Workplace Sexual Harassment

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How Has Working From Home Impacted Workplace Sexual Harassment

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many jobs transitioned to online, remote positions. This means that they were no longer sharing a central location for employment, but rather each person started working from home. Today, many of those positions have stayed remote, and working from home has become a more popular choice among both employees and employers due to the decreased costs and increased convenience. Working from home has also impacted workplace sexual harassment, as with less in-person work comes decreased physical interaction. But unfortunately, inappropriate behavior that constitutes sexual harassment can still occur in remote workplaces, too.

Forms of Sexual Harassment

There are a variety of types of sexual harassment that someone in their workplace may face. The two categories of sexual harassment detailed by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are quid pro quo harassment and a hostile work environment. 

  • Quid pro quo sexual harassment refers to a person in a position of authority requesting sexual favors in return for benefits at work. 
  • A hostile work environment, on the other hand, relates to sexual advances, jokes, gestures, or various comments that make it difficult for an employee to carry out their position without intimidation or threat. 

Regardless of the category of sexual harassment, both types of behavior are serious and illegal. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, is in place to prevent any type of unwanted sexual advances or conduct that creates a hostile work environment. 

Remote Sexual Harassment

In remote positions, the form of physical sexual harassment is no longer possible. However, sexual harassment is still present in remote positions in forms other than physical. This is because verbal or visual sexual harassment also falls under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

Examples of Sexual Harassment in Work-From-Home Jobs

Sexual harassment in remote positions tends to be either verbal or visual. Some examples of verbal sexual harassment include making sexual jokes, sending sexual emails, commenting on the appearance of a coworker, and making discriminatory comments either through email and chat messages or verbally. However, sexual harassment does not stop at just verbal approaches. Visual sexual harassment may include sending unsolicited images to a coworker, taking images of them when their camera is on, and sharing other forms of inappropriate video or images. 

Another lesser-known form of remote sexual harassment is cyberstalking. This occurs when a person follows your online moves, steals your identity, or uses electronics to threaten another. This may be apparent in remote positions since your coworkers are all present virtually.

Regardless of the type of remote sexual harassment, it is a serious matter that should be addressed. 

Hire an Experienced Employment Attorney

Matters of sexual harassment in the workplace can be addressed by an employment attorney. They can review your case and analyze how to approach filing a claim, if possible. Knowledgeable attorney Jeannette Vaccaro at the Law Office of Jeanette A. Vaccaro will evaluate your case seriously and honorably, guiding you toward justice. Contact our office for a free case evaluation today. 

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