Workers across the board continue to face sexual harassment even in a culture where more of the workplace is strictly digital.
However, a digital workplace is a ripe environment for non-physical sexual harassment to occur. But exactly what is this?
Threats or coercion
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission discusses non-physical sexual harassment. This form of sexual harassment often gets less media attention because it does not create bombastic headlines. However, by some reports, it is even more prevalent than physical sexual harassment or assault.
Non-physical sexual harassment can, for one, include threats or coercions in an attempt to get a worker to exchange sexual favors for something. However, the actual act does not need to occur.
Sexual harassment also takes place over a digital interface at times. For example, someone may expose him or herself on camera to their targeted victim, or send explicit photographs through other digital avenues.
Gossip in the workplace
Non-physical sexual harassment also takes the form of gossip that can create a toxic work environment. If the gossip centers on a person’s sexual life, sexuality or gender identity, and it disrupts the victim’s ability to work, then they may have a harassment case.
Finally, this form of sexual harassment also includes derogatory comments based on gender or sex. This goes for any gender present in the workplace. An example may include one co-worker telling a female co-worker to get back into the kitchen, a comment with many misogynistic connotations.
Workers can and should protect themselves from these issues when they occur, creating a safer work environment for those who come after them, too.