Boulder, CO- Cell phones and smart phones have revolutionized how we communicate with one another. These wonderful devices allow us to stay connected with one another no matter where we are. We are able to share photographs, exchange texts and keep contact others via social media with our phones.
While cell and smart phones are convenient to have and can make our lives easier, these devices also provide new opportunities for sexual harassment. Sharing intimate or explicit texts, photographs, or emails is fine if both parties are consenting and welcome the “sexts.” However, there are times when this ability to share explicit photos or texts crosses a line of decency, especially if the explicit messages and photographs are coming from a boss or coworker.
Emails and texts have presented new opportunities for a variety of harassment, and technology increasingly factors into cases of workplace of sexual harassment.
Photo and text messages can be sent in matter of seconds for someone with the rights skills. Sending a nude photo is very easy and some people just can’t resist the temptation. Texts open a new avenue for people to sexually harass or bully another person. Sometimes sexually explicit texts are a singular event, a momentary lapse of reason for the sender. But, often, employees who are inclined to harass their coworkers can be relentless with their inappropriate texts, sending one after the other and causing extreme anxiety for the victim, distress and embarrassment for the recipient.
Emails also make it easier to share pornographic photos, jokes and messages. Like texts, emails can be sent out immediately without giving the unthinking person a chance to take it back. It also provides an easy channel to send unwanted and inappropriate messages and photographs to coworkers.
Sexual harassment doesn’t have to be in person for it to make a person feel harassed. Receiving a sexually charged message, whether through text or email, is unnerving, annoying and harassing for the target. Harassment through technology is just as toxic as in-person harassment, and just as illegal.
Under Colorado statutes and federal law sexual harassment through technology or face-to-face is strictly forbidden, but still far too common. A large number of victims allow sexual harassment to go on and on before they take action. These victims fear they will be punished or fired for complaining, which is not an unfounded fear but is also illegal.
Any person who has been subjected to a hostile work environment through sexual harassment, discrimination or retaliation has a legal recourse they can follow. They must report the misconduct to their supervisors and file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
If they have reported incidents of text, email or workplace sexual harassment and their employer has failed act their next course of action should be to contact a Boulder sexual harassment attorney. A sexual harassment attorney can begin building a strong case which will in turn help the harassed employee get the compensation they deserve for their emotional distress and lost wages.