Are Unwanted “D–k Pics” Illegal? (Sexting Post)

Are Unwanted “D–k Pics” Illegal? (Sexting Post)
When Sending or Soliciting Pics in the Workplace Becomes Harassment

This post has its genus from an article about Finland’s Justice Ministry. What does Finland have to do with dick pics in the United States? Keep reading. No matter where you are in this world, some guys can’t resist the urge to send unsolicited (and unwanted) pictures of their private parts.

In Finland, sending penis pictures isn’t illegal. At least not today. Depending on the circumstances on how, why and to whom they were sent, it may be harassment. The government there is now mulling new legislation making the unsolicited sending of these pictures a crime.

What caught our attention was a study that found that a large percentage of women received unwanted sexually explicit photographs. A group called Plan International surveyed 14,000 girls and women between the ages of 15 and 25 across 22 countries. More than half of the women and girls said they were sexually harassed or abused online. Over 33% also said they received sexual or explicit photos.

That got us thinking. Is such behavior illegal here in the United States and is it a problem? Assuming there are no juveniles involved on either end of the exchange, the photos themselves aren’t illegal in most states*. Depending on the circumstances and the jurisdiction, sending such pictures – assuming they were unsolicited and unwanted – could be criminal stalking or harassment.

*Texas just passed a law in 2019 making it a misdemeanor to send unwanted nudes. And the law isn’t limited to sexting, Snap Chat and other social media platforms are also covered. There are real concerns whether the law is enforceable but obviously we don’t advise anyone to challenge the law by sending unsolicited pictures!

Despite the poor taste behind these pictures, Americans appear no different from the Finns. Notable Americans allegedly sending unwanted penis pictures include legendary quarterback Brett Favre and disgraced politician and former NY Attorney General Anthony Weiner.

Sexually Explicit Materials (Dick Pics) in the Workplace

Sending sexually explicit pictures is obviously in poor taste. Send them to a co-worker, subordinate or your boss and it is illegal as Hell. Ditto if you ask someone at work for nude pics.

While we can’t stop everyone from unzipping their fly, we can hold bad coworkers and companies responsible for sexual harassment. And yes, sending unsolicited dick pics (or similar pictures) can be considered sexual harassment.

There is a thin line between sexual harassment and a hostile work environment but both are illegal and actionable.

Years ago, sending sexually explicit pictures was considered harmless fun by many. Not today. Even if you are directly targeted by the pictures, simply having them be passed along in the workplace can lead to a hostile work environment.

Pornography or suggestive pictures at work degrade and objectify women and reinforce negative gender roles. Women who work in this environment often feel intimidated and uncomfortable. And studies show that allowing such behavior can often result in more serious forms of harassment. (In the vast majority of cases, it is women who are the recipients of unwanted sexual images but guys can be victims too. (For this post we are sticking to women but know that sexual discrimination is certainly not limited to women.)

In an unusual case, a US Cellular retail store employee sued the company for sexual harassment after co-workers passed around naked pictures they found on customers’ phones. (Of course, those customers would have a great case for invasion of privacy too.)

The employee complained about a hostile work environment because co-workers were running around the back of the store showing sexually explicit pictures they found on customer phones. She also said two male co-workers frequently talked about their own sex livess and asked her about her genitalia and sexual positions she favored. One co-worker asked to see her breasts.

In a story we hear all too often, when she complained to management she was told to “deal with it.” Worse, she was warned that she could lose her job if she made a formal complaint.

Yesterday, Chicago Police Officer Cynthia Donald filed a lawsuit claiming that former police Superintendent Eddie Johnson sexually assaulted her and sent her nude pictures of himself.

Did You Receive Unwanted Nude Photos or Sext Messages at Work?

Unwanted sexting and nude photos are illegal in the workplace. Sexual harassment can be perpetuated by anyone in your workplace, including supervisors, coworkers, vendors and even clients and customers. It happens in all industries and at all levels, from entry-level positions to the c-suite. We find it is most rampant within the entertainment and service industry (bars and restaurants).

You don't have to be a direct victim of sexting or sexual harassment to sue. If you witness a coworker being sexually harassed or you're forced to work in a hostile environment, you may be able to file a claim-even if you have not been harassed personally.

Our sexual harassment attorneys have the legal experience and investigative resources to help you prove your case and recover financial damages and your dignity. These are complex cases, too often covered up by untruthful witnesses, aggressive company lawyers, and management denials. Although you're protected by law, it's important that you work with a qualified lawyer who will advocate for you fearlessly.

To learn more, visit our sexual harassment information page. Ready to see if you have a case? Contact us online, by email [hidden email] or by phone 888.249.6944. All inquiries protected by the attorney – client privilege and kept strictly confidential.


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