An employee may think that telling a dirty joke to a coworker is harmless, but making questionable comments in a California workplace can point to a pattern of more blatant sexual harassment. This issue affects both men and women.
Crude jokes and comments can have far-reaching consequences
Crude comments of only a few words or full-blown dirty jokes can constitute sexual harassment under the law. Often, these comments occur in passing when a person leaves a room, or they may be mixed in with other comments such as talking about recreation, hobbies, or other seemingly innocent conversations. A New York Times poll indicates that if someone frequently makes such comments and readily dismisses them, chances are that these individuals also engage in other forms of gender discrimination, such as making the work environment difficult for persons of the opposite sex.
Sexual discrimination is common in the American workplace, including in the United States Army. All soldiers should be considered and treated equally in the eyes of their superiors and fellow soldiers. The U.S. Army has a program called Sexual Harassment Assault Response and Prevention geared toward ending sexual harassment and assault within the ranks. Unfortunately, despite such programs, sexual discrimination is still rampant.
How to fight veiled sexual harassment
Sexual harassment in the military is a form of employment discrimination. As many Army veterans know, how a person responds to dirty jokes, crude comments, and more can affect how their career progresses. Even if you don’t respond, you may find that you are not progressing in your career because of your sex.
Remaining silent could continue to hurt you. Know that you have recourse under employment law to fight an uncomfortable situation.