Many people recognize that it is against the law for a supervisor to grope an employee or request sexual favors. However, there are other examples of sexual harassment that not only create an uncomfortable environment in the workplace and cause victims to suffer emotional distress but violate the law. For example, offensive comments, in some instances, constitute unlawful sexual harassment.

Those who experience sexual harassment in any form need to stand up for their rights at once. In recent years, a lot of media attention has focused on sexual harassment, but this behavior remains far too prevalent in workspaces across the country.

When do offensive comments constitute sexual harassment?

It is important for employees to recognize when offensive comments constitute sexual harassment. For example, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, if unwelcome comments that are sexual in nature result in a demotion or the termination of one’s position, this is illegal. In some instances, minor one-off remarks do not constitute unlawful sexual harassment. However, if an employee is repeatedly harassed or the harassment leads to a hostile work environment, this is prohibited and victims need to hold offenders accountable.

Supervisors, co-workers and offensive remarks

Some people are subjected to sexual harassment when their supervisor violates the law, but it is also important for employees to remember that people who work for a company in other capacities (including co-workers) also break the law by sexually harassing others. Both men and women are victims of sexual harassment and this is also true when it comes to the perpetrators of sexual harassment.