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What is non-physical sexual harassment?

On Behalf of | Oct 23, 2020 | Employment Law

Minnesota workers like you deserve a safe workplace to carry out your tasks. Many workplaces claim that they offer protection to workers from all manner of disturbances and harassment. 

The reality sometimes looks different, though. Not all workplaces offer full protection to its employees. You may even face harassment and not even have full awareness of it. 

The difference between physical and non-physical harassment

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission examines sexual harassment at work. Of course, this includes physical sexual harassment. This is often the focal point when discussing sexual harassment in the workplace. It is easiest to identify this type of sexual harassment. An accused perpetrator cannot come up with many excuses to explain their inappropriate behavior. 

But there is non-physical sexual harassment, too. This often gets less media attention because it does not make catchy headlines. However, it is often an even bigger problem than physical sexual harassment. 

Acts of non-physical sexual harassment

Non-physical sexual harassment covers a wide spectrum of abuse. Some examples include: 

  • Catcalling and sexual or lewd remarks about someone 
  • Spreading malicious rumors about someone in a sexual light 
  • Requesting sexual favors in exchange for promotions or other benefits 
  • Demanding sexual favors over threat of demotion or firing 

Non-physical sexual harassment also includes targeted comments based on gender. They do not have to do with sex or sexual acts at all. An example includes someone telling a female employee to “get back in the kitchen”. This sexist remark is a form of sexual harassment, too. 

If you face sexual harassment in the workplace, you can stand up against it. You can take your accusations and seek compensation for the harm you have faced.