Our attorneys have earned a trusted reputation for protecting the rights of employees and employers throughout Pennsylvania.
  1. Home
  2.  → 
  3. sexual harassment
  4.  → Are jokes about women sexual harassment?

Are jokes about women sexual harassment?

On Behalf of | Nov 1, 2022 | sexual harassment |

Many people do not understand that sexual harassment does not have to include any physical impositions or specifically be about sexual acts. The laws on sexual harassment also include gender.

Jokes about women could be sexual harassment in the right context. The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission explains the jokes must meet the criteria set by the law.

Criteria under federal law

The first important point is the harassment must be ongoing. In the case of a joke, a one-off incident would not be enough to claim sexual harassment. It would need to either be ongoing jokes or in addition to other situations that have created a workplace that is uncomfortable due to the way it makes women feel. Keep in mind, if someone tells a joke that makes you uncomfortable and you let them know that and they stop telling the jokes, then there is no claim.

Limits on claims

There are no limits when it comes to the people involved. You can be male or female. The person telling the jokes can be male or female. You do not have to be in a position of subordination. The person being offensive could be a boss or an employee. It could also be someone else, such as a vendor.

You will have 180 days to file a claim under federal law. You have rights under the EEOC if your employer has 15 or more employees. If you feel that your situation meets the criteria of sexual harassment, you should try to file a claim and alert your employer to the issue.