Yes, same-sex sexual harassment also illegal

When most individuals bring up sexual harassment, they often think about women being on receiving end of undesired advances from a male colleague (even though men can be harassed by female co-workers or bosses, as well).

The truth is that the perpetrator of sexual harassment isn’t always of the opposite sex of their victim. Many perpetrators are of the same gender as their victims.

Yes, you read that right. Same-sex sexual harassment is a real thing, and it’s probably more common than you realize. There are countless lawsuits over that sort of harassment filed by workers every year here.

What are some examples of male-oriented same-sex sexual harassment?

Data compiled by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) shows that male-on-male undesired sexual advances are the most common type of harassment that have to endure in the workplace.

Any behaviors that may come off as horseplay, especially if it has sexual undertones, may constitute sexual harassment. The same logic applies if a male worker’s same-sex colleague tries to belittle, humiliate, embarrass or otherwise target them with sexually charged conversations or acts. 

SHRM warns that any treatment specifically singling out gay employees may constitute both sexual harassment and sexual orientation discrimination, including one male employee berating another male employee for not being “masculine” enough.

What are some examples of female-oriented same-sex sexual harassment?

Past U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reports filed by women have highlighted the sexually charged treatment women have faced at their female colleagues’ hands, including:

  • Undesired and inappropriate grabbing or touching while on the job
  • Uncomfortable questioning about their sex lives and bodies
  • Being told to wear certain clothes that management believed would draw in more customers
  • Letting workers know that wearing revealing clothing might help them advance in their careers more quickly

While an increasing number of female employees have reported their perceived sexual harassment to upper management in recent years, few employers have taken any aggressive action to put an end to it.

What to do if you suffered sexual harassment on the job

You should report any sexual harassment you endure to the leadership at your Louisville company. You may also want to consider filing an EEOC claim in such instances. An attorney can advise you why you might want to file a lawsuit so you can decide what the best course of action is for you.