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Is Sexual Harassment Illegal in the Workplace in Alaska?

— November 30, 2021

Sexual harassment will often continue on, or behavior may even worsen when it is not addressed.

Sexual harassment is considered illegal behavior when incidents occur frequently or create a hostile or offensive work environment. Sexual harassment is also illegal in the workplace if it “results in an adverse employment decision.” An adverse employment decision might include someone being demoted or fired for not giving in to an employer’s sexual advances.

If you think you’re a victim of sexual harassment, an Alaska sexual harassment attorney can help you decipher between behavior that is considered illegal and behavior that is inappropriate. This can then be used to determine the next steps that should be taken.

Sexual harassment is considered to be a form of discrimination, hence, it is prohibited in the workplace

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) classifies sexual harassment as discrimination, making it illegal for someone to commit it. The EEOC, however, does not consider the following to be illegal behavior:

  • Simple teasing.
  • Offhand comments. An offhand comment is one that is made without any real thought behind it.
  • An isolated incident that is not considered to be “very serious.”

Because simple teasing and offhand comments can sometimes lead to a workplace becoming intolerable to work in, you should consider discussing the incidents you’ve experienced with an Alaska sexual harassment lawyer. If a lawyer believes the behavior you are being subjected to is illegal, they can help you address the problem.

Legal remedies used to address sexual harassment in the workplace

When someone is being sexually harassed at work, there are a few ways the problem can be addressed. First, you might consider discussing the incident with someone in your human resources (HR) department. If you don’t have a human resources department or don’t feel comfortable with bringing the issue to HR’s attention, then it may be best to reach out to a lawyer. helps individuals throughout the State of Alaska find and retain legal experts in their area. This alleviates you having to spend hours searching for a lawyer in your city who specializes in sexual harassment. 

Report your issue to the EEOC

Image of the EEOC seal
Seal of the EEOC; image courtesy of U.S. Government via Wikimedia Commons,

The EEOC is in charge of “enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age when a person is 40 and older, disability, or genetic information.”

As previously mentioned, sexual harassment is considered to be a form of discrimination, and therefore, the EEOC may be able to help you recognize your employer or someone else in your workplace for sexual harassment. The EEOC will generally conduct an investigation into a complaint when it involves an employer with at least 15 employees.

Take action after a sexual harassment incident at work

Sexual harassment will often continue on, or behavior may even worsen when it is not addressed. If you are being sexually harassed at work or aren’t certain the behavior you are being subjected to is considered illegal, is here to connect you with an AL sexual harassment attorney who can help.

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