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Sexual harassment in a work-from-home environment?

On Behalf of | Dec 16, 2021 | Sexual Harassment, Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is an issue that plagues workplaces across the country, despite nationwide efforts to put an end to this ongoing problem. While physical sexual harassment has come under great scrutiny lately, this is not the only form of sexual harassment at work.

In fact, it is even possible to experience sexual harassment in a work from home (WFH) situation, which many would find surprising.

Sexual harassment through online spaces

The Indiana State Personnel Department looks into different forms of workplace harassment. Sexual harassment is an issue that continues to plague the modern workforce all across the country. As times have changed and more people work from home, it is important to understand that sexual harassment can still happen.

Quid pro quo and hostile work environments are two separate examples of sexual harassment at work. Quid pro quo, i.e. “something for something”, occurs when an employer ties your employment to sexual favors. In short, they may threaten to demote or fire you if you refuse to perform these acts. They may also try to bribe you with raises or promotions in exchange for such favors.

Examples of a hostile work environment

A hostile work environment may occur if intimidation or offense happens enough to get in the way of you doing your job. When in a work from home situation, examples of harassment include:

  • Sexual jokes made through video calls or on messaging apps
  • Using calls, apps or emails to have suggestive discussions or share sexual stories
  • Exposes themselves on video call
  • Shares sexual images, GIFs, memes or videos
  • Messages or emails you asking for sexual favors

Any of these actions constitute an illegal form of harassment and you can take action against the perpetrator.


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