In light of recent news stories about sexual harassment that keep mounting across industries in America, it’s time to talk about holidays and their close relation to sexual harassment and misconduct.
It may or may not be a surprise to many, but there are even higher chances of sexual harassment during the holiday season, particularly during the Christmas and New Year Eve’s work parties.
It’s a phenomenon that stretches from California, all the way to Washington, D.C.: coworkers and employers get drunk and sexually harass and assault their colleagues or employees.
Fact #1: if you know that some coworker (or the employer) has a crush on you, he’s much more likely to approach you at a holiday party and make unsolicited sexual advances.
In fact, if a female employee tells her female coworkers about getting sexually harassed at last night’s Christmas party, nobody is going to be surprised or raise their eyebrows the next day in the office.
Fact #2: 40% of polled employers and employees have either engaged in inappropriate behavior at a holiday-themed party at work or knew someone who had (only 23% of the harassers said they were reprimanded for their behavior, and only 11% were fired for it).
Taking Legal Action Against An Employer For Sexual Harassment At Holiday Party
Despite many people “normalizing” sexual harassment at office parties during the holiday season, things could change dramatically this coming season in the wake of the ongoing sexual misconduct scandals gripping Hollywood and the rest of the nation.
An experienced sexual harassment attorney here at Licata & Yeremenko, A Professional Law Corporation explains that employers have a duty to protect their employees from sexual harassment and misconduct in the workplace.
Under federal and state laws across California, company-sponsored holiday parties during Christmas and New Year are considered to be part of the workplace regardless of location, explains the sexual harassment lawyer.
If an employer fails to ensure a sexual harassment-free environment at a holiday work party, he may be held liable for failing to perform his duties and may be sued by an employee who becomes a victim of sexual misconduct at a Christmas or New Year Eve’s party.
While any holiday-themed work party can spiral out of control and become a disgusting platform for sexual harassment, abuse, assault, and misconduct, especially if alcohol is served at the party, our California sexual harassment lawyer warns that the more the everyday work environment feels like a boys’ club, the bigger the chance of sexual harassment at a holiday party.
Signs Of Sexual Harassment At A Holiday Party
The Licata & Yeremenko, A Professional Law Corporation has handled hundreds of sexual harassment cases in California since 2000, and our skilled sexual misconduct attorneys have outlines these signs of sexual harassment at holiday parties that may entitle you to file a harassment lawsuit:
- Any unsolicited sexual advances, verbal, written, or physical;
- Coercing into kissing;
- Using mistletoe in order to force party-goers into kissing;
- Sticking tongue into coworker or employee’s mouth;
- Dancing provocatively or grinding on party-goers;
- Pressing up against employees or coworkers;
- Grabbing body parts;
- Showing suggestive or derogatory photographs, cartoons, posters or drawings;
- Telling slurs and jokes of offensive and sexual nature;
- Giving sexually suggestive gifts (lingerie, massagers, sex toys, inflatable dolls, etc.).
This non-exhaustive list of sexual harassment behaviors at holiday parties should be your guide for this coming holiday season: if you spot any of these, you may be entitled to file a sexual harassment lawsuit.