Know Your Rights at Work

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Very generally, sexual harassment describes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct. The behavior does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person’s sex.

Title VII is a federal law that prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion, and it applies to employers with 15 or more employees. The law also makes it illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. It applies to federal, state, and local governments, as well as employment agencies and labor organizations.

Even with Title VII’s protections, many people across the country still face sexual harassment in their workplaces.

If you are experiencing harassment at work you may be overwhelmed and afraid. The important thing to remember is that you are not alone and that you do have options when coming forward.

The following resources will help you better identify sexual harassment, advocate for yourself and others, and determine your next steps. As you begin this journey, it is important to remember to DOCUMENT EVERYTHING, for example:

  • Your experience with the harasser — time, location, details, and witnesses
  • Your experience reporting the harassment — time, location, details, and witnesses
  • Your productivity — safeguarding and documenting your productivity at work can be essential during and after reporting