Arthur R. Lehman, L.L.C.

What are the basics of sexual harassment?

When an employee is asked personal questions about their social or private life, they may think there is no problem with it, but the truth of the matter is that it can come under the purview of sexual harassment. What is sexual harassment? Sexual harassment is an unwelcome sexual behavior-this could be sexual advances, requests for favors or other physical conduct. In addition to this, submission to this conduct could be an implicit or explicit term of continuation of employment, rejection of the conduct could be used to affect employment decisions of that employee or the conduct reasonably creates a hostile work environment.

New Yorkers however should not confuse the term 'unwelcome' with 'involuntary'. In some instances, a person may agree to certain behavior even though it is offensive-the person subjected to the offensive conduct determines how unwelcome the act is.

Sexual harassment does not only have to be physical-it can be verbal and non verbal as well. Many people may think that physical sexual harassment only covers actual or attempted sexual assault, but in reality it could even be standing too close to someone or brushing against them repeatedly. Non verbal sexual harassment could be anything from looking a person up and down to making sexual expressions. Examples of verbal sexual harassment are referring to someone as a doll or a hunk to the more obvious telling jokes of a sexual nature.

Sexual harassment covers many aspects and depends on the situation and the person being subjected to the offensive conduct. If a New York employee finds himself or herself the victim of sexual harassment, it may be beneficial to get employee representation, as these are complicated legal matters that might need some expertise to resolve.

Source: UN.org, "What is sexual harassment," Accessed on Sept. 28, 2015

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