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Sexual Harassment Through Social Media Sites and Texting

In the last decade or so, technology and social media sites have made the world a much smaller place. Nowadays, it seems that everyone is connected via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other forms of social media. If you are like most people, when you hear the phrase sexual harassment, your mind doesn’t conjure up images of people posting risqué comments, images and photos online. Yet posting anything sexual about a co-worker or employer may be considered harassment and could result in termination. Further, unlike previous forms of sexual harassment that often came down to he-said, she-said, sexting and online sexual harassment leave digital evidence — photos, messages, posts and videos are typically available for everyone to see or are at least easy to locate and obtain.

Examples of online sexual harassment include:

  • Cyberstalking — This involves following a co-worker’s blog, Facebook page or Twitter account without consent. Depending on the nature of the stalking, the behavior may be considered sexual harassment. If you believe you are being cyberstalked by a co-worker, consult with a lawyer immediately.
  • Virtual harassment — Is a fellow employee constantly requesting dates or romantic involvement online? Does your co-worker repeatedly send you friend requests when you have declined previous attempts? Whether in the real world or online, harassment is unacceptable.
  • Sexting harassment — Texting a sexually explicit image or photo to a co-worker is inappropriate and may be grounds for a sexual harassment lawsuit. Even if the image or video was intended to be a joke and nothing more, it may be offensive and hurtful to others.

Employers have a legal duty to prevent and stop harassment in the workplace. Let an experienced employment law attorney fight for your rights.

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