Sexual harassment has been in the news quite a bit in recent months, as women everywhere are calling out instances of bad behavior in the workplace. Minnesota is not immune from these types of incidents, and our readers would be well-served to know the basics about a sexual harassment claim.

For starters, it is important to understand how subtle this type of harassment can start. In the beginning, it might just be a comment or two, or even a light touch on the shoulder. But, over time, the behavior may become more aggressive and suggestive, eventually leading to the type of situation in which an employee can’t do the job properly because of the sexual harassment.

In order for the sexual harassment at issue to form the basis of a legal claim, the harassment or discrimination must be so persistent and overt that it causes a “hostile work environment.” But, by the time it reaches this point, the employee may have already been passed over for promotions or denied pay increases due to their unwillingness to let sexual harassment stand.

Doing something about sexual harassment in the workplace can be the most difficult part of the process. Most people actively attempt to avoid confrontation, so they may sit idly by as sexual harassment goes unchallenged in the workplace. However, Minnesota residents need to know that they have rights under state and federal law that can help protect them if they decide to meet sexual harassment in the workplace head-on and evaluate their potential claim.