Seattle Office: (206) 462-4334 | Tacoma Office: (253) 777-0799 | New York Office: (212) 300-2444

What is non-physical sexual harassment?

Oct 23, 2020 | Sexual Abuse

Washington workers like you deserve a work environment free from harassment and discrimination. Many workplaces promise to keep workers safe from these occurrences. In reality, many do not live up to the task. 

You may face sexual harassment while on the job. In some cases, you may not even know that you face behavior that the law classifies as sexual harassment. 

How does physical and non-physical harassment differ?

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission looks at sexual harassment at work. In specific, they look at non-physical sexual harassment. Physical sexual harassment tends to garner a lot of media attention. It is unmistakable and tends to make for shocking news. 

Non-physical sexual harassment does not get this same treatment. Why? Because it is not as dramatic or easy to notice. Non-physical sexual harassment involve verbal harassment over matters of sex or gender. 

For example, non-physical sexual harassment can involve an employer threatening or coercing you. They may offer promotions in exchange for sexual acts, or threaten demotions or even firing if you refuse to perform. 

Non-physical sexual harassment can also involve making lewd or sexual remarks about you, even without the intent to act. Spreading malicious rumors about your sexuality or sex life also counts as harassment. 

Gender discrimination as a form of sexual harassment

Finally, you can suffer as a victim of non-physical sexual harassment due to gender. Someone telling a female worker to “get back to the kitchen” is sexual harassment, even if there is nothing inherently sexual about it. This is due to the use of physical sex and gender in discriminatory statements. 

When facing non-physical sexual harassment at work, you can do something about it. You can seek compensation for the damages you suffered and more.