When an employer's or coworker's actions and behavior make it impossible to continue working in one's office and thereby alter the expectations of a comfortable workplace, a hostile workplace can said to have been created. But what behavior and language counts towards its legal requirements?
Sexual harassment can be physically dangerous and psychologically damaging to those who must endure it while at work. Minnesota and federal laws protect workers from sexual harassment, but an unfortunate number of individuals still suffer this demeaning form of provocation each year. Sexual harassment can take on different forms, and one of those forms is called quid pro quo harassment.
Most of the news coverage that our readers see is probably focused on national politics, rather than local politics. However, state laws can affect the lives of Minnesota residents even more so than national laws. For instance, a recent article noted how the state legislature is continuing to work on issues addressing sexual harassment in the workplace.
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.
When it comes to sexual harassment in the workplace, many Minnesota residents will struggle with deciding what the best approach will be to attempt to solve the problem. For some, they may feel like they have enough clout with their employer for a direct confrontation about the problem, hoping that the employer will be shocked enough by the allegations to make an immediate change.
Several of our previous blog posts have addressed the ongoing conversation about sexual harassment, sexual abuse and the impact of these behaviors in the workplace. It seems that this conversation will be front-and-center in the national consciousness for the foreseeable future, which many Minnesotans believe is good for the prospect of advancing workers' rights across the country. But, there may still be one very simple barrier: employees might still be afraid to report workplace sexual harassment.
The United States Congress has been distracted by budget issues lately, as our readers know. But, there was some good news recently out of Congress too, namely in the form of proposed legislation from the House of Representatives that could - if enacted - overhaul the way that sexual harassment claims are handled in on Capitol Hill.
Our readers who are familiar with previous posts here know that a wave of sexual harassment, assault and abuse claims is sweeping through the country, including in workplaces in Minnesota. While powerful CEOs, celebrities and businesspeople face these claims from California to New York, and everywhere in between, a recent article asked a question that may not yet have been considered by some: Will sexual harassment allegations go too far?
Being the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace can be embarrassing. Victims of this type of abuse and discrimination can feel guilt as well, or shame that they are not taking action when they believe they should. Many victims fear reprisals from the employer, or derision from their co-workers if the incidents become common knowledge in the workplace. Minnesota residents need to know their rights when it comes to sexual harassment claim, and they need to know how to pursue those claims after sexual harassment occurs.