What is Sexual Harassment?

Business woman showing concern when a business man touches her shoulder

Sexual Harassment is:

  • Harassing a person due to gender or;
  • Making promises of rewards against sexual favors or;
  • The use of coercion of sexual nature and bullying.

Sexual Harassment has become more of a recognized issue in recent times, which may be related to the rise in a number of issues, affecting many members of our society, mostly the workers, but it is not limited to only those who are working. Some who may experience it are:

  • Students or
  • Those in an area where awareness/sensitivity levels are lower.

Workplace harassment issues are the hottest topic which falls under this heading. It is typically harassment of a woman by a person in authority, often in the professional work environment. Victims of sexual harassment are usually subordinates, that is, an employee or an intern. It is exemplified by the use of undue influence of a person who holds a position of power; e.g. employer, supervisor or relative. In 1994, the Supreme Court of the United States held that the behavior of a person can be considered as a case of sexual harassment if that behavior disturbs the environment.

Examples of Sexual Harassment:

There is identifiable behavior of a person which is considered to be sexual harassment. To determine if a behavior is actually meant to harass you, we will give some examples to lessen any confusion:

  • A is a female student who is shy and complains little. Her male teacher takes advantage of her quietness with his gestures or by physically touching her,etc.
  • B is a newly-hired electrician. Her co-workers habitually leave pornographic pictures where she will find them. She is confused and is terrified of going to work due to this action of her co-workers.
  • Anyone implying or requesting job-related deals with you by using sex as leverage against your job, whether pertaining to your current job status or pertaining to a raise or promotion.
  • Anyone touching, patting, hugging, or brushing up against you intentionally without your consent.

A teacher, colleague, or a boss cracking jokes of vulgar or sexual nature repeatedly will fall under sexual harassment.

Is this Sexual Harassment?

A man wearing suit puts his arm around a woman and the woman is looking at his hand. they are facing a computer

  1. I work in a firm where there is this one guy who is always touching, patting, or brushing me.
  2. My boss asked me out yesterday when I inquired about my probationary period, what should I do?
  3. I am confused; my uncle rubbed my back with his hand yesterday which has never happened before.  Is this sexual harassment?
  4. What should I do now that my co-worker left a pornography video open on my desktop while he/she was helping me with a report?


Dallas - Fort Worth attorney Jim Zadeh has the answers to all of your questions regarding any sort of harassment issues. Call us at 817-335-5100 or toll-free: 888-713-5418.

Jim M. Zadeh
Connect with me
Attorney at Law