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Sexual harassment and remote work

On Behalf of | Nov 29, 2023 | Sexual Harassment

Remote work took off in the early part of 2020 and many workers have embraced it and all the benefits it brings – including reduced incidents of sexual harassment.

It may not come as a huge shock, but a recent survey indicates that remote workers experience far less sexual harassment than their counterparts who work in offices and other in-person workplaces. Only 5% of women working remotely had experienced such problems, compared to 12% attending work in person. Only 4% of male remote workers experienced similar issues, compared to 7% of in-person workers.

What’s telling, however, is the fact that sexual harassment continues to be an issue – even for remote workers it hasn’t totally stopped.

How can sexual harassment happen remotely?

It’s always important to remember that sexual harassment is about asserting power far more than it’s about sex. Sexual harassment in a remote work environment can include things like:

  • Unsolicited photographs of a sexual or explicit nature sent through email or messages (whether they are of the sender or someone else)
  • Disparaging, sexist comments about an entire gender or group of people based on their gender or gender identity made during video conferences
  • Suggestive comments sent through private messages or online chats
  • Requests for dates by a co-worker through text, email or video calls
  • Jokes and memes of a sexual or sexually explicit nature sent through messages or posted on a co-worker’s social media page

This is far from a complete list of the ways that sexual harassment can occur remotely. If you believe that you’ve been subjected to sexual harassment of any kind and your employer has failed to address the situation, it may be time to explore your legal options.


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