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What LGBTQ+ employees should know about sexual harassment

On Behalf of | May 10, 2024 | Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a serious issue that can affect anyone, including LGBTQIA+ employees. Understanding your rights and the resources available is crucial for creating a safe work environment.

Know your rights

Federal law protects employees from discrimination based on sex. This includes sexual orientation and gender identity. You have legal protection against sexual harassment.

Recognize what constitutes harassment

Sexual harassment includes:

  • unwelcome sexual advances
  • requests for sexual favors
  • other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature
  • offensive remarks about a person’s sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity

Both the person harassed and the perpetrator can be any gender, and the perpetrator can be someone of the same sex.

Understand employer responsibilities

Employers must create a workplace free from sexual harassment and are required to take appropriate action when incidents occur. This includes investigating complaints and taking disciplinary action against offenders.

Report harassment

If you experience harassment, you should report it. You can report to your supervisor, HR, or another authority within your organization. Keeping records of incidents and communications can support your case.

Seek support

Many organizations offer support groups and counseling for LGBTQIA+ employees facing harassment. External resources, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), can provide guidance and legal assistance.

Creating a workplace where everyone feels safe and respected requires vigilance and action. If you’re experiencing harassment, know that you have rights and there are avenues for support and justice. Your sexual orientation or gender identity should never subject you to unwanted or inappropriate behavior.

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