Many people have incredible outgoing and jovial personalities. In many workplaces, jokes and flirting is just part of another day. But where does the line exist between harmless interactions and unwanted advances? Check out these facts about sexual harassment in the workplace to learn more.
Facts About Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Sexual harassment in the workplace is considered a form of discrimination. Legally, it is defined as “unwelcome verbal, visual, non-verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature or based on someone’s sex…” that affects workplace conditions or creates a hostile environment. The defining line in determining sexual harassment has occurred is that it must be “unwelcome conduct”. Two people flirting at work may not constitute harassment.
Some good examples of sexual harassment include:
- Making sex-based jokes
- Requesting sexual favors
- Threatening someone for rejecting advances
- Spreading rumors about someone else’s sex life
- Physically touching another person (kissing, hugging, stroking, touching clothing)
- Sexual assault
- Derogatory gestures or facial expressions
- Following or stalking someone else
- Displaying inappropriate sexual conduct to someone without consent
Sexual harassment can occur between any parties in the workplace. Consider the following:
- The victim may be male or female
- The victim may not be of the opposite sex
- The victim may not have been directly harassed, but may have been otherwise affected by the conduct
- Sexual harassment may or may not include economic injuries to the victim
- The harasser may be a co-worker, supervisor, employer, or a non-employee of the business
It is important for anyone working in today’s business sphere to understand what constitutes sexual harassment. Anyone who feels that they are the victim of sexual harassment should contact an attorney to learn more about their legal rights and what options they have to protect themselves and pursue justice.