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Sexual Harassment in The Virtual Workplace

Guha Law Jan. 27, 2022

Sexual harassment involves a range of unwanted and inappropriate behaviors. Inappropriate comments and suggestions are two such troubling actions that could upset an employee or a coworker. Assuming that sexual harassment may only occur at a physical location in California would be inaccurate. In a time of remote working and video conferencing, harassment and discrimination might occur through virtual communications.

Harassment May Happen Anywhere

Several reasons contribute to the increased prevalence of sexual harassment during remote working sessions. Sometimes, video calls are one-on-one meetings absent any recording devices. Someone could behave outrageously since working from home could mean no witnesses, and the inability to record a video stream might eliminate tangible proof.

Of course, witnesses out of camera range or recordings from third-party hardware may provide sufficient proof that sexual harassment occurred. Questions then arise about what a company intends to do about the behavior.

Such problems are becoming more pervasive. Reports suggest that more than one-third of workers experienced sexual harassment during remote work. Such behaviors even take place through emails and phone calls.

Establishing Policies to Address Sexual Harassment

Whether large corporations or small businesses, employers must institute policies that provide a safe and harassment-free work environment. The trend of moving employees to remote alternate work sites does not free employers from their responsibilities to adhere to EEOC rules and regulations. Those ignoring blatant sexual harassment may find themselves in legal trouble.

Anyone who experiences sexual harassment during a video conference or another form of electronic communications could explore legal remedies. The horrific behavior could continue unless someone takes the necessary steps to report the problem. Even then, legal action might be unavoidable.