Office parties are supposed to be fun and exciting whether they are held to celebrate a holiday or held to celebrate another type of special occasions, such as a promotion or a retirement. Even during a festive holiday party, sexual harassment and advances can still occur just as they could while at the workplace. One of the details to keep in mind is that a holiday party is often considered an extension of the workplace, which means that the same protections are offered while you’re at the party, including the protection against sexual harassment. Any concerns or issues that you have while at a party or at the office should be reported to an attorney who can begin filing necessary claims against the employer. The attorney can also advise you as to whether or not you should go to the police to make a report.
The same state and federal laws that prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace also prohibit harassment at holiday parties as a way to keep you and other employees from becoming victims of derogatory remarks and advances. When sexual harassment occurs, it can often lead to a work environment that is considered hostile. This means that it can be difficult for you to concentrate on your work while you’re in the office. The harassment could also result in a demotion or even being fired from your job if you decide to file a claim or make statements against the harassment that occurred. Laws offer protection against a hostile work environment, and your attorney can assist in keeping your job as well as maintaining the position that you held in the office if you choose to stay with the company.
Sometimes, a holiday party can involve alcohol consumption. This consumption often leads to remarks and advances that are made by employers toward employees. Some employees will also target co-workers in the same manner. These advances and gestures are often considered harassment and can be punishable in a court of law. Even without alcohol at a holiday party, the festive environment and the close proximity of employees and employers can sometimes result in advances that are made that are of a sexual nature. It’s important that you report any kind of harassment that you experience so that it can be dealt with swiftly and in a professional manner, especially if the harassment involved an employer.
There are several examples of sexual harassment at a holiday party that you should be aware of before you attend the event so that you’re prepared for what could occur while still having fun at the same time. Employers might give gifts that are of a sexual nature or gifts that could be seen as romantic. Someone could make comments that are sexual or even send emails or text messages while at the party or even before the party begins as a way to try to begin an intimate encounter.
Most isolated incidents often go unreported are usually pushed aside if they are reported. However, if isolated incidents are severe in nature, then this would make a difference in claims that can be filed. If the harassment continues after the party, then the details of the events that occur need to be given to an attorney in order for the proper claims to be filed. One regulation that protects employees while they are at parties outside of the workplace and while they are in the office is Title VII. This is a part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and dictates the responsibilities that employers have as well as the protections that employees have so that they work in a safe environment.