In September 2018, as the "me too" movement grew a year old, McDonald's workers around the country were striking due to sexual harassment. As companies large and small struggle to find their footing in a time when people who have been sexually harassed are fed up, victims are finding a voice.
Once you know the signs of sexual harassment, you’ll be able to speak up on your behalf and on the behalf of others.
Here are three of the most common signs that you’re being harassed at work.

1. Sexual Behavior That Makes You Uncomfortable

While some people think that sexual harassment is a vague gray area, they’re often not the ones experiencing harassment. When you’re experiencing sexual comments or even overt requests for dates for sex, you could freeze up and get uncomfortable.
Inappropriate words and touching are the strongest signs of sexual harassment.
Sometimes a coworker will stand too close, talking to you in an intimate way, even as you try to get away from them. They may comment on your body rather than giving you a general compliment. “I like your shirt” is much different than “I like the way you look in that shirt.”
If you’re constantly being either bombarded with stories about their sexual behavior or you’re being pressured to share your experiences, you’re being harassed.
Some people will make you uncomfortable and enjoy having that power. If that’s the case, it’s time to elevate the situation.

2. It’s Hard To Make It Stop

Even when you don’t like a conversation and don’t want to participate, you can sometimes be pulled into a situation where you don’t have as much control. If your boss or a superior coworker is harassing you, they might be the person you’d report it to.
If you’ve said once that you don’t like their behavior, you shouldn’t be tasked with repeating yourself. If they continue, they are in violation of the law.
Simple teasing or off-handed comments are usually difficult to track, but when your workplace feels hostile, you are within your rights to take action.

3. You Fear What Could Happen if You Speak Up

It’s not easy to speak out when someone is harassing you. We’ve all heard of stories of people who have punished for blowing the whistle at work for a variety of reasons. This has historically been true, especially for minorities, women, and queer people.
If you don’t feel comfortable speaking up, you’re probably in a difficult sexual harassment situation. You might feel embarrassed about being a part of it, but it’s not your fault.
If you’re struggling with the fear of losing your job or being demoted by speaking out, it’s time to find a lawyer.

Signs of Sexual Harassment Can Be Subtle

While some of the more overt signs of sexual harassment might seem over the top, there’s lots of uncomfortable behavior that should be prohibited. While it can be hard to track every negative or demeaning comment that a coworker makes, it’s important to stop them as soon as possible.
If you don’t have a boss who is helping to make your workplace a safe and productive environment, contact a lawyer.
If you suspect you’re being harassed online, check out our guide to understand it.

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