Sheehan & Associates, P.L.C.

Is it or isn't it sexual harassment?

There are many forms of harassment that may occur in the workplace, all of which should be taken seriously by employers and employees. It is unfortunate that numerous people feel there is little they can do beyond reporting such behavior to superiors. The truth is, anyone who is or has been continually harassed at work can take legal action against employers if, after reporting such incidents, steps are not taken to end the inappropriate behaviors. Harassment of a sexual nature can range from, what some would consider, relatively minor incidents to more extreme actions. The focus of this week's post will be to discuss how sexual harassment is defined, and what an employee, whether in Michigan or elsewhere, can do if he or she has been subjected to such conduct.

Sexual harassment can be defined as any unwanted or unwelcome sexual advances. These may be verbal or physical in nature. Employees who are the victims of this behavior often feel violated, intimidated and unable to successfully perform their work duties.

So, who can be affected by sexual harassment? The answer is anyone -- male or female. This conduct can also create a negative work environment for those not directly in the line of fire, so to speak.

The best thing an employer can do is take steps to prevent sexual harassment. If, however, such behavior is reported, appropriate actions to resolve the matter should be performed. An employee who feels his or her complaints of harassment have gone unheeded can utilize legal remedies to effectively terminate such conduct and seek compensation. Claims that are successfully litigated in a Michigan civil court, or settled out of court, can result in financial remuneration.

Source:, "Facts About Sexual Harassment", Accessed on May 26, 2015

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