Examples Of Remote Workplace Sexual Harassment

While more people are working remotely, sexual harassment continues to be a problem. Workplace sexual harassment has not stopped. Virtual sexual harassment that takes place during meetings, conferences, phone calls, text, and email has continued to be an ongoing issue.

Working from home has not completely alleviated the problems individuals face in the workplace. But just like in any other workplace, remote workplace sexual harassment is prohibited and if you have fallen victim to this behavior, you do have resources available to help you.

How Does Sexual Harassment Occur While Working From Home?

There are many ways that remote workers could fall victim to sexual harassment. As an example, it could take place during a virtual meeting on Zoom or Skype.

It could be inappropriate messages sent to your email or via text, or it could be inappropriate images or offensive jokes sent by an electronic device.

Sometimes it involves inappropriate messages sent via work communication channels, such as via Slack, or it could involve female workers being constantly asked to video chat by male supervisors, or inappropriate comments or references can be made during a team meeting.

If it occurs during a team meeting, then you would have witnesses which can be beneficial to your claim against your employer for sexual harassment.

Here are a few ways that remote sexual harassment is occurring while workers are on the job –

  • Sexts or video chats
  • Sexual jokes sent via messaging
  • Inappropriate images sent via messaging
  • Sexually suggestive emails
  • Sending inappropriate website links
  • Sending nude photographs or sexual videos

If the message is sent via instant message and you cannot download and save the message, you should immediately get a screenshot while the message is available.

You will need as much evidence as possible to support your claim and to prove that you were subjected to this behavior while you were working. Remember evidence is essential to the success of any workplace sexual harassment claim.

You should make copies of all evidence for safekeeping, so if things are misplaced or lost, there are other copies available for reference.

What To Do If You Suffer Workplace Sexual Harassment

A virtual workplace sexual harassment claim will proceed just like any workplace sexual harassment claim. Your first step will be to file a complaint with your employer.

You will need to notify them in writing about what happened. You should check your employee handbook for the proper protocol for getting a claim underway. Your first step will be to notify your employer’s human resources (HR) department.

Be sure to provide copies of your supporting evidence. Also, document how your employer responds. Make note of any actions, or lack of concern.

You will need this if the claim must advance. The next step will be to file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC will gather additional supporting evidence and will work to resolve the matter with your employer.

If the EEOC does not get a resolution to the matter, or if they find an ongoing pattern of sexual harassment or other illegal actions, then they will recommend that you file a lawsuit against your employer.

You will be able to recover compensation for the damages that you suffered because of the sexual harassment, including lost wages, mental anguish, and loss of benefits as well as any other monetary losses you suffered.

Depending on the circumstances and your state, you may also be awarded punitive damages to help deter your employer from future inappropriate behavior.

Getting Your Claim Underway

If you suffered virtual workplace sexual harassment, you should speak with an employment law attorney who handles workplace sexual harassment claims.

With the help of an attorney, you can gather pertinent evidence and get your claim in order, so you can show what happened and prove that your employer didn’t properly respond and address the issue.

When you file a sexual harassment claim, you can help protect other employees from the same treatment in the workplace. You should discuss payment options with your lawyer, so you can determine if they will take the case on a contingency basis and not be paid until you win your case or if they require a retainer and charge an hourly rate.

You do have limited time for pursuing a workplace sexual harassment claim, so complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page and share the details of your situation with an employment law attorney who handles such cases in your area.

Additional Resources