The stereotypical image of sexual harassment at work is when a man sexually harasses a woman. However, same-sex sexual harassment of both genders is also common in the workplace as well. If you are the victim of same-sex sexual harassment in your place of employment, you have the same legal rights under federal and state law to be free from any kind of harassment in the workplace.

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

The same exact instances of sexual harassment in the workplace occur between employees of the same sex. The following are some examples of sexual harassment that may occur in the workplace:

  • Physical touching or any unwelcome physical contact
  • Sexual offers or requests
  • Inappropriate or sexually suggestive photos or comments either through e-mails or posted in public areas or private offices where other employees may view it
  • Sexually suggestive or inappropriate text messages or messages on social media platforms
  • Degrading or humiliating comments made either directly to another person or within earshot of another person
  • Threats of demotion, loss of employment, deprivation of career opportunities unless sexual requests are fulfilled
  • Actual loss of employment, loss of benefits, loss of training opportunities, demotion, etc.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

The federal law is clear. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) specifically states that same-sex sexual harassment is illegal under the law. In fact, this very specific circumstance was brought before the Supreme Court, which held that sexual harassment from someone of the same sex is illegal. (Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc., 523 U.S. 75 (1998).

Reporting of Same-Sex Sexual Harassment Claims

Studies show that same-sex sexual harassment claims are oftentimes not reported by victims due to fear or worry that they will lose their jobs, or that they will not have enough evidence to prove their claim. Many workers feel embarrassed about same-sex sexual harassment and do not want to provoke the wrath of the person committing the abuse, or fear humiliation from other co-workers.

Unfortunately, research shows that these victims are oftentimes correct and that they face dismissal by management regarding their claims or are even fired for bringing forth a complaint. However, if you bring a complaint to management regarding your same-sex sexual harassment claim, and they do nothing to resolve your issue, or fire you or discriminate against you in any way, you have the right to file a claim with the EEOC.

Contact an Employment Attorney

If you are a victim of same-sex sexual harassment in the workplace, you likely feel overwhelmed and afraid to report the abuser. You have the legal right to work in a place free of any kind of harassment or discrimination under the law.

If you were ignored by management, demoted or fired due to your complaint of same-sex sexual harassment, contact the Law Offices of Jeremy Pasternak at 415-373-1287 or online, to help you build your same-sex sexual harassment case, and bring those responsible for your harassment to justice.