Because many workers are now working from home does not necessarily mean that sexual harassment is no longer present in workplaces. In addition, many essential workers are still in their workplaces each day and may experience sexual harassment.
Reports of sexual harassment are down, however, there is concern that this may be due to the increasingly vulnerable position workers feel they are because of the economic downturn. Any worker impacted by sexual harassment in their workplace, whether virtual, in person or otherwise, should be familiar with the protections available to them.
Sexual harassment goes virtual
Sexual harassment continues to take place in different forms in the virtual workplace setting. Examples can include employers requiring that employees show their entire bodies rather than just their faces in the virtual setting. Intimidation and hostile workplace environments can also still exist via text messaging.
Sexual harassment in essential workplaces
Workers in sexual harassment are also continuing to experience sexual harassment, including being asked to remove their masks in a provocative manner, as one example, or to remove their masks in order for the customer to determine how much they wanted to tip the worker.
Sexual harassment protections are important in any workplace and it is important for workers in any setting to understand that they do not have to tolerate sexual harassment. Sexual harassment protections can extend to hostile work environments or when an employer requires sexual favors in exchange for something from the worker and workers should be aware of these protections.