Recent college graduates, and younger employees, starting their careers often have limited experience with professional work environments, relationships, and communications. Young employees sometimes continue to interact and communicate with their co-workers as if they were still in college. This may include gossiping, spreading rumors, joking, “dishing dirt,” using slang, blurring of social and professional boundaries, and similar conduct.
This type of conduct may have been inappropriate and offensive while the individual was in school, and now could qualify as sexual harassment if this behavior continues in the work environment.
Rumors and gossip of a sexual nature, disparaging or criticizing an employee for their perceived promiscuity, and spreading sexual and inappropriate stories, may give rise to a hostile work environment claim- a form of sexual harassment.
You Will Not Be Alone In Stopping Sexual Harassment
We are seeing greater instances of rumors and gossip-based sexual harassment occur among younger workers in the workplace. Younger workers often use digital mediums such as Slack, Zoom, Microsoft Office Teams, Huddle, group text messages and similar technologies, as a means of engaging in such sexual harassment.
Aggressors can use these tools to harass and pursue workers outside of traditional work hours and to disseminate information to a larger audience. Aggressors also use technology to engage in more graphic and offensive conduct, such as using videos, images and audio technologies to perpetuate their harassment.
Call Attorneys Knowledgeable in Sexual Harassment
We can help you address sexual harassment at work. To learn more about how we may assist you, please call or contact the Maura Greene Law Group today to schedule a consultation.
The Not So Fine Print:
We see patterns in our practice, like the ones described above. However, every case has its own unique facts. Before you take any action, you should contact an employment lawyer and get advice on your own situation. We can’t provide legal advice here and this isn’t intended as legal advice. Keep in mind that it is best, if possible, to establish a relationship with an attorney before a workplace issue turns into a full-blown crisis. Employees who have received a verbal or written warning or performance improvement plan, should contact counsel now. Ditto for employees who are seeing their doctor for workplace related stress or anxiety.