Your workplace should be comfortable and safe. Unfortunately, though, far too often discrimination and harassment occur. When it does, you can be cheated out of a job or promotion, or you might be subjected to an uncomfortable, hostile, and dangerous work environment. The good news is that you don’t have to put up with discriminatory and harassing actions. Instead, you can take action to protect yourself and your interests.

One of the first steps is understanding what constitutes the discrimination or harassment in question. This week, let’s look at sexual harassment. This category of harassment is actually quite broad in scope, encompassing a whole host of illegal actions. Amongst them are unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, statements of a sexual nature, and even crude jokes.

There are a lot of misconceptions about sexual harassment, too. For example, many people think that sexual harassment only occurs if you are the recipient of a lewd comment or a sexual advance. The truth of the matter, though, is that anyone who is affected by these actions are victims of sexual harassment. Also, any gender can be subjected to sexual harassment, not just women. Economic harm doesn’t have to result, either, for sexual harassment to found to have occurred.

So what does this mean for you? It means that if you think that you have been subjected to sexual harassment, then you should think about your legal options. Pursing a legal claim against the individual who harassed you may result in the recovery of compensation and work to ease the suffering and humiliation you were put through. These types of cases can be complicated, though, and accused individuals often aggressively defend themselves. For this reason, you should consider whether you need an equally aggressive advocate on your side.