Imagine that you go to work one day, and a co-worker begins making lewd comments about you. You ask them to stop, so they start making the same comments about you to other co-workers. It feels like everyone is staring at you and talking about you.
When you tell them that you’re going to start a sexual harassment complaint, their first response is that you shouldn’t have dressed the way you did if you didn’t want those comments. They blame you for inviting attention.
First and foremost, please know that this is a myth. The way you dress has nothing to do with inviting lewd comments or giving any of your co-workers any other grounds on which they can harass you. They are still violating your rights. This is not your fault, and it does not mean that you can’t start a case – or that you’re going to lose that case.
The application of a dress code
There are those who may say that you violated the workplace dress code as if that absolves them from all blame. It does not. You may be in violation of the dress code and could be reprimanded in accordance with the employee policies, but that still does not invite sexual harassment or make it legal for your co-workers to objectify you in this manner.
No one deserves to be harassed on the job, and no one deserves a hostile work environment where they feel like their co-workers or supervisors are constantly objectifying them. If this has happened to you for any reason, you need to know what legal steps you can take.