Recently Sexual Harassment online has become more prevalent than ever. Increasingly perpetrators have taken to their computers to harass their victims. In the workplace, harassment of a sexual nature can now occur not just with workers who work physically face-to-face, but also online with employees throughout the companies national and international territories. It is imperative that employers train on the online aspects of harassment for their harassment training programs to be complete.
Online harassment can take several forms and email is the most prevalent. Emails of a sexual nature sent to a group of co-workers can result in hostile workplace environment harassment. An employee who receives these types of emails, even if they are not directly targeted to them, can find them offensive and claim hostile workplace harassment. Secondly, emails can be sent directly to a victim by a harasser asking for sexual favors or simply to flirt in a sexual nature. If the employee expresses displeasure with these acts a Sexual Harassment claim may be viable.
Looking at pornography online even if it's not part of an email can be considered sexual harassment. If a co-worker hears or sees online videos or pictures of a sexual nature, they may consider a harassment complaint. The best policy is to keep your work computer free of any personal materials of any type. Lastly, social networking sites have become a problem for employers. Sexual harassment can occur when an employee posts or flirts in a social networking website with another employee. In addition, status updates that go to a large body of people can be used by harassers. Photo comments can also be dangerous and ripe for a harassment claim. The best advice for any employee is to keep work and social lives separate.
Employers can no longer avoid training on the topic of online harassment. It's prevalence in the workplace increases every year and employers who do not add this type of training risk serious harassment lawsuits.