People become “too familiar” and begin to cross a line, even in the workplace. You should not condone anyone putting their hands on your body at all, not in your workplace. As trivial as some incidents of unlawful touching may seem superficial, it may constitute sexual harassment or even crime under the law, hence; it is a big deal!
The term “unlawful touching” is any intentional physical contact with a person’s private body parts without his or her consent. It can also involve physical restraint of a person’s arms or legs or physical intimidation by holding down a person in a n effort to obstruct their movement.
Examples Of Unlawful Sexual Touching Might Include:
- Forcibly kissing you against your will
- Fondling your breasts, backside, thighs or privates
- Pressing or grinding against you sexually
- Pulling you onto their lap
- Removing or tugging at your clothing
- Unwelcome hugs or shoulder massages
- Groping or grabbing
- Caressing or “massages”
- Brushing against your body
- Kisses (on the lips, cheek or anywhere)
- Sitting or standing uncomfortably close to you
- Hovering over you while you are trying to work
Unwanted touching does not have to occur in the workplace; it may happen off site or after hours, such as at a working lunch or a company party. A pattern of sexual misconduct makes a strong case, but a one-time occurrence is still harassment if it creates a hostile work environment for you or if you are threatened with termination or other reprisal after the fact.
The aggressor may be a co-worker or a direct report, or the boss or the owner. It could be sexual touching by a client. It could also be a female-to-male or same-sex dynamic. All of these scenarios are actionable as sexual harassment.
It Needs To Stop. Perpetrators Need To Be Held Accountable!!!
When confronted about unlawful touching, harassers often play it off as office shenanigans or an innocent gesture. It’s not harmless. They know exactly what they’re doing, and they are likely to do it again unless the behavior is brought to light.
It’s not your imagination. You’re not exaggerating or misconstruing their actions. And you should never have to endure unwanted touching at work. Call us today for your free and confidential consultation, contact us today at (212) 962-2220.