Company holiday parties can be a time for celebration and fun, but they can also present risks for employees, particularly when it comes to sexual harassment. It's important for employees to be aware of the potential risks and know what to do if they experience or witness sexual harassment at an office Christmas or holiday party.
Sexual harassment is a serious issue that can have a lasting impact on its victims. It can cause physical and emotional harm, and can also lead to a toxic work environment. Sexual harassment victims have rights, too. It's important for both employees and employers to be aware of the risks of sexual harassment at company holiday parties and to take steps to prevent it.
What is sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment is any unwanted or unwelcome sexual behavior that creates a hostile or uncomfortable work environment. It can take many forms, including unwanted physical contact, inappropriate comments or jokes, and displaying sexually explicit materials.
What are the risks of being a victim of sexual harassment at company holiday parties?
Holiday parties can provide opportunities for inappropriate behavior to occur, particularly when alcohol is involved. Employees may be more relaxed and may let their guard down, making them more vulnerable to harassment.
In addition, the festive atmosphere and lack of supervision may give some individuals the impression that their behavior is more acceptable than it would be in a normal work setting.
What should an employee do if he or she experiences or witnesses sexual harassment at a company holiday party?
If you experience or witness sexual harassment at a company holiday party, it's important to take the following steps:
- Remove yourself from the situation: If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, it's important to remove yourself from the situation as soon as possible.
- Document the incident: Write down as much as you can remember about the incident, including the date, time, location, and any witnesses. This will be helpful if you decide to report the incident.
- Report the incident: If you feel comfortable doing so, report the incident to your supervisor or HR department as soon as possible. If you don't feel comfortable reporting to your supervisor or HR department, then you can also report the incident to an external organization such as the New York State Division of Human Rights or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
- Seek support: It's important to take care of yourself after experiencing sexual harassment. This may include seeking support from friends, family, or a counselor.
- Seek legal advice: If you're a victim of sexual harassment at a company holiday party, it's important to remember that you have rights and options. If you feel that you have been the victim of sexual harassment, you may want to consider seeking legal advice. An experienced sexual harassment attorney from The Glennon Law Firm can help you understand your options and advise you of your best course of action.
Let us Protect Your Rights!
No one should have to endure sexual harassment, especially at an office Christmas or holiday party. If you're the subject of sexual harassment, it's important to remember that you have rights and options, and there are steps you can take to protect yourself and seek support.
By being aware of the risks and knowing what to do if you experience or witness sexual harassment at an office Christmas or holiday party, you can help create a safe and respectful work environment for all employees.
If you would like more information about sexual harassment, please click here.