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Sexual harassment is never acceptable

Sexual harassment is something that no worker should ever have to endure. The incidents of sexual harassment are taken so seriously that the federal government has issued laws to prevent these horrible events. New York also has specific laws against sexual harassment.

The laws against sexual harassment play a big part in keeping employees safe. However, there are still instances in which these actions occur. Employees should be aware of what constitutes sexual harassment and other pertinent points.

Victims of sexual harassment

The victim of sexual harassment can be the person who is being directly harassed. It is also possible to be the victim of sexual harassment if you witness someone else being sexually harassed. Victims can be male or female, have any sexual orientation, be of any race, and practice any or no religion. The tie that binds all of the victim classifications together is that the sexually-explicit activities had to be unwelcome.

Harasser classification

The person who is sexually harassing someone can be an employee of the company. These people may include co-workers, supervisors, executives and anyone else who is employed at the company. 

The harasser can also be a customer or client. Many people don't realize this point about sexual harassment. Even vendors, volunteers and visitors can be the harasser in these cases. As long as the employee is harassed by someone who they come into contact with during their job duties, it can be considered sexual harassment if unwanted sexual advances are made.

Types of sexual harassment

Sexual harassment doesn't have to include only physical contact, although that is a common form of sexual harassment. Workers can also suffer from sexual harassment from hearing sexual comments or jokes, seeing any sexually-explicit pictures or content or witnessing unwanted sexual advances made on someone else. Anything that is unwanted sexual contact qualifies as sexual harassment.

Generally, a worker who is subjected to sexual harassment should file a complaint with the appropriate representatives of the company. The company should take immediate action to rectify the situation. In some cases, the person who made the sexual harassment complaint might need to take things a step further by filing a formal complaint with government authorities. 

Employees shouldn't have to fear retaliation for making these claims. In all cases, retaliation is strictly forbidden and can lead to more legal claims that go beyond the sexual harassment complaint.

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