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Basics of Workplace Sexual Harassment

Posted by B&F System Admin | Feb 15, 2018

Sexual harassment allegations can be a very complex issue, causing many employees and employers alike to search for the best harassment lawyer Atlanta GA has to offer. However, it's not always clear what sexual harassment comprises in the workplace. At Barrett & Farahany, LLP, as we strive to be a resource for anyone searching for the best harassment lawyer in Atlanta GA, we want to help our clients understand this difficult issue.

Sexual Harassment at Work

Any unwelcome verbal or physical advances of a sexual nature that foster an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment falls under the spectrum of workplace sexual harassment. Co-workers, customers, bosses, managers, and others can be considered guilty parties. Any sexual conduct at work can be considered sexual harassment if it is unwanted and makes the victim uncomfortable. If this sounds very complex, that's because it is. Even the best harassment lawyer in Atlanta GA might agree that it can be tough to prove when mere unprofessional behavior turns into sexual harassment.

General Types of Sexual Harassment

Quid Pro Quo: Quid pro quo applies when an employer explicitly or infers trading an employment condition for a sexual favor. Generally this is a give and take offer: “I will give you X if you perform Y for me.” This can also pertain to a refusal for promotion or other such punishment for refusing the request.

Hostile Environment: This is the most common category for reports of sexual harassment. Unwanted sexual conduct of any kind has the potential to create an environment that other employees feel uncomfortable or unsafe in. This may not necessarily affect employment status or opportunities, but it is still a serious offense. It may affect the ability of one or more employees to perform their daily job functions.

Men, women, and nonbinary people can experience sexual harassment in the workplace. Harassment can also occur between two people of the same gender. The best harassment lawyer Atlanta GA provides would likely consider all of these factors when evaluating cases of sexual misconduct.

Common Examples of Sexual Harassment

  • Asking for physical affection, whether it is specifically sexual or not.
  • Refusing to accept “no” as an answer and pursuing your request to no end.
  • Any sexual commentary about clothes, actions, physical nature or behavior.
  • Sexual jokes.
  • Quid pro quo requests of a sexual nature.
  • Gender-based insults and derogatory comments.
  • Conversation with coworkers about sexual encounters.
  • Showing pornagraphic images (animated or real) to coworkers or posting it in work-related areas.

What Employers Can Do

First and foremost, a written policy regarding sexual harassment should be created to ensure employees know what harassment is, what the consequences are, and that management will not tolerate such behavior. Including this in an employee handbook for distribution among current and incoming employees is invaluable. Do not leave room for an excuse of ignorance.

In addition to a zero-tolerance declaration and definition of sexual harassment, provide a procedure for reporting claims of sexual harassment. Be sure to note that there will be no retaliation for reports and that it is safe to file a complaint. Sexual harassment training should also occur each year to ensure that employees are up-to-date on the policy. One way local companies combat sexual harassment is by bringing in the best harassment lawyer in Atlanta GA to run workshops for employees.

Still Searching for the Best Harassment Lawyer Atlanta GA Residents Recommend?

If you are a business owner who is looking to prevent workplace sexual harassment or if you are an employee who has experienced harassment, you may benefit from speaking with an Atlanta, GA harassment lawyer. At Barrett & Farahany, we are experienced in providing harassment training to local companies, and we have a history of prosecuting on behalf of victims. Our experienced team may help you feel safe and confident while you combat harassment when it occurs.

If you're searching for the best harassment lawyer Atlanta GA workers know and trust, please contact our office today at (404) 238-7299 to schedule a free consultation.

About the Author


When you reach out to us, you will receive a complimentary consultation with one of our skilled Atlanta employment attorneys. During our initial consultation with you, we can help you to better understand your rights and will work with you to determine what course of action is in your best interest. We take great pride in providing assistance based on years of experience negotiating and litigating employment matters to protect employee interests. If you find yourself in need of dedicated legal representation, we are prepared to advocate on your behalf – our goal is always to protect employee victims of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.