When you have recently started a new job, you will likely have a probationary period. This is in place so that your employer has more rights than usual for the purposes of making sure that you are the right employee for them. While your probationary period will mean that you feel more vulnerable to the possibility of dismissal, and you may feel an increased pressure to impress your employer, it does not mean that you are in any way exempt from the basic rights of an employee.
If you work for a company with the required amount of employees, you will be protected by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) whether you are a full-time employee, an employee on your probationary period or even an intern. This minimum required number of employees will depend on the type of company that you work for, whether it is a governmental agency, labor union or a private company.
Many people believe that sexual harassment must be a type of behavior that exhibits force or attempt, for example trying to engage in a kiss or initiating sex when it is unwanted and inappropriate to do so. While these actions in the workplace are likely to constitute sexual harassment, it is also important to note that sexual harassment in the workplace can also occur more subtly, but be equally damaging to the victim’s working experience.
Sexual harassment is any type of behavior that is considered by the courts to have created a hostile working environment. This means that the actions of one person or several people, perhaps the act of an employee or manager telling sexual jokes, sending inappropriate emails, or asking a colleague to join him or her for dinner in a persistent or repetitive manner, can be enough to create a hostile environment, and, therefore, can be regarded as sexual harassment.
If you are in your probationary period, it is important to remember that you are protected under the EEOC in Iowa as long as your employer has the minimum required number of employees. It is important that you stand up for your rights and never tolerate sexual harassment in the workplace.