As time goes on, our society is making more and more progress against the epidemic of sexual harassment. However, many unfair taboos and stigmas still exist. One good example of such a taboo is same-sex harassment. Many people still dismiss same-sex sexual harassment at work as a “myth.” Alternatively, they dismiss victims and tell them to simply “get over” the harassment. On top of that, many victims feel particularly reluctant to come forward because of society’s residual prejudices surrounding gender roles and homosexuality.
For all these reasons, it’s important we discuss same-sex sexual harassment at work in detail. Read on to learn more about same-sex sexual harassment, how to spot it, what you can do, and how the Law Office of John Dalton can help you today.
What Is Same-Sex Sexual Harassment?
Most people can probably understand the basic concept of same-sex sexual harassment just from the name. Simply put, same-sex sexual harassment includes offensive or unwanted sexual or sex-related behavior between two people of the same sex. The same law that applies to male on female sexual harassment (the most common) applies to same-sex sexual ahrassment.
Legal recognition of same-sex sexual harassment is not new. The Supreme Court explicitly recognized it in the landmark case Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc. in 1998. Specifically, the court found that national laws against sex discrimination included same-sex harassment after a male oil rig work was subjected to demeaning, sex-related harassment, and even threatened with rape.
However, far less outrageous conduct can constitute same-sex sexual harassment. And even behavior that is merely related to sex can qualify as same-sex sexual harassment.
How to Spot Same-Sex Sexual Harassment
Definitions aside, what does same-sex sexual harassment look like? The truth is that it can take many forms, just like male on female sexual harassment. Let’s consider a few possible examples:
- A male employee is repeatedly referred to as “she” by his male colleagues because of his mannerisms or how he talks;
- A female supervisor makes sexual advances towards her female subordinate;
- A woman’s colleagues call her derogatory homosexual slurs because she rejects a male co-worker’s advances; and
- A male manager tells his male subordinate that he is not selected for a position because the position “needs a woman’s touch.”
- Asking for dates, asking personal questions, commenting on your body, telling sex-based jokes.
Other signs of same-sex harassment include the following behaviors between two people of the same sex:
- Repeated, intrusive questions about the victim’s romantic life or sexual partners;
- Unwanted sexual advances;
- Sexual assault or other sexual violence;
- Catcalls, wolf-whistling, and indecent gestures;
- Threats of violence or sexual assault;
- Lewd, sexual statements about the victim’s appearance; and
- Jokes about the victim’s genitalia, clothes, or fashion sense.
These are only a few examples of same-sex sexual harassment, and it can assume an almost infinite number of other forms. If you have any doubts whether you are experiencing same-sex sexual harassment, don’t delay, call us today.
What Should I Do If I Am Experiencing Same-Sex Sexual Harassment?
Above all else, you need to contact our office. People often advise victims to first contact their employer, talk to a co-worker or supervisor about it, or take other such actions. The problem with doing these tasks first is that they can have strong negative consequences if not approached correctly. In many cases, when presented with complaints of same-sex harassment, employers do not have your best interests in mind. Contacting us first allows you to get quality legal advice on your case. We will advise you of your options, provide a checklist of next steps, and help you understand how to prevail if your case proceeds forward.
How a Talented Labor and Employment Attorney Can Help
Attorneys serve several vital roles for their clients. Let’s discuss why it is absolutely critical to have a lawyer represent you.
An Attorney Will Help You Make Sense of Your Situation
When you’re a victim of sexual harassment, it can be almost impossible to think clearly because of the stress you’re under. However, once you explain your situation to us, we can give you objective and unbiased legal advice. We can help you understand how the law would evaluate your case. In addition, we can explain all your possible legal options so that you have a sense of what to expect as you move forward.
An Attorney Can Help You Prepare for a Successful Legal Suit
Because of our thorough understanding of the law, we know what it takes to win a same-sex sexual harassment claim. That means we can advise our clients on how to document evidence. Furthermore, we will actively assist you with collecting helpful evidence by reaching out to witnesses and obtaining valuable pieces of information.
Don’t Let Money Worries Stand in the Way of a Fair Outcome; Contact Us for a Free Initial Consultation
Here at the Law Office of John Dalton, we truly believe in providing a voice to those who believe they are powerless. And because of our dedication to sexual harassment victims, we provide a free initial consultation to all callers. On top of that, we work on a contingency-fee basis. That means you don’t need to take out loans to pay legal fees. Instead, you pay us only if you recover damages, so there’s no out-of-pocket cost. With our decades of experience and dedication to our clients, it’s no wonder we have an incredible track record of success. Call us now or reach out to us online to get started today.