Sexual harassment at work may involve a variety of situations and people. The person accused of harassing or discriminatory behaviors may be a man or a woman. The same holds true for the person who indicates he or she has been subject to sexual harassment or discrimination.
Harassment may be experienced between colleagues of equal status, managers and their direct reports and more. No combination should be dismissed, including harassment between people of the same gender.
Companies should take all harassment seriously
A report in USA Today indicates that an employee may feel concerned that their experiences of sexual harassment would not be taken seriously just because the other person was of the same sex. A person may believe that the exact same scenario involving a person of the opposite gender would result in action while the scenario involving two women or two men gets pushed aside.
Policies are only the start
More and more companies today have clearly outlined policies against sexual harassment or discrimination. However, not all of those companies actively enforce their policies. More work in this arena remains to be done to protect employees against these behaviors.
Hostile work environments may involve any gender
As explained by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, harassment at work may be constituted by actions that create hostile working environments. This may happen between two women or two men just as easily as between a man and a woman.
Sexual harassment may involve sexually related actions or comments but sexual content or actions are not part of every sexual harassment claim. A claim may involve comments or actions based on a person’s gender as well.