It is common for various kinds of harassment to happen in massage businesses. One kind of harassment happens when you are the target of unwelcome conduct that is based on your race/national origin, gender, sex, or other protected category (i.e. age, religion, disability). Also, an employer has a responsibility to make sure your workplace is free from harassment that is foreseeable. This includes owners of massage business who work off-site. Even if you provide sexual services for money – or perform work that is overtly racialized or sexualized – you still have a right to be free from unwelcome behavior. Other forms of harassment include:
Verbal or Written
- Comments in person, text, phone, or other electronic sources about physical appearance, your immigration status, race/national origin or your behavior that have racist or sexual overtones. Ex. Questions about immigration status, requests for sexual acts, etc.
- Severe/elevated – i.e., repeated phone calls with threats or racist slurs (i.e. “go back to your country”).
- Unwelcome touching or gestures that have racist or sexual overtones that would not happen if you were not in that protected category (i.e., if you were a man, if you were white, if you were not an immigrant, etc.). It doesn’t have to be extreme (I.e. raises a hand as if about to hit you).
- Severe/elevated – a shove, aggressive movement or assault.
Sexual Harassment or Forced Sexual Contact
- Sexual harassment includes unwelcome requests for sexual favors, subtle or obvious pressure for unwelcome sexual activities, verbal harassment in the form of a pattern of sexual comments or questions, unnecessary or inappropriate physical contact, displays of lewd photographs of drawings, and more.
- Forced sexual contact is not limited to intercourse. It can include touching the intimate parts of another person and the “touching” can include squeezing, pinching, or grabbing.