Be Clear On What Constitutes Harassment With Clear Law

Sexual harassment in today’s culture often takes the shape of more covert behavior. A victim may get tempting late-night messages or photographs, uninvited sexually charged remarks, or invites to encounters that evolve into dates. Emails, social media, and other places outside of the workplace are just as likely as the workplace itself to be the scene of sexual harassment in today’s society.

What Is Meant by the Term “Sexual Harassment”?

The term “quid pro quo” refers to a kind of workplace harassment in which one party (usually a supervisor) asks for anything of sexual nature in exchange for another (usually a benefit at work). For instance, one may say, “I’ll offer you the title if you date me,” or “I’ll terminate you until you go drinking with me,” as an example of a bribe.

When an employee is exposed to severe or widespread uninvited sexual, physical, or verbal behaviour, a hostile work environment is created. Click here to read more on hostile work environments. Accusations of harassment in the form of a quid pro quo are generally easy to investigate but claims of harassment in the form of a hostile work environment may be more challenging. What kinds of actions are considered to be harassing, and why? How much behavior must be present before it can be considered harassment? 

Different kinds of inappropriate behavior

Unwanted hugging, touching of the breasts or genitalia, butt smacking, rape, other types of sexual assault, demands for sexual attention, making sexually explicit remarks, giving massages without permission, making sexually suggestive movements, catcalls, ogling, or crowding someone in a small area are some workplace behaviors that are obviously sexual harassment.

Subtle types of sexual harassment are on the increase in the workplace, while more obvious kinds are still present. To illustrate, sexual harassment may be defined as any of the following behaviors if they occur often enough or are serious enough to make an employee feel unwelcome, intimidated, or distracted to the point where it affects their work:

  • repeated praises of an employee’s looks remarking on the appearance of others in front of the employee discussing one’s sexual experiences in front of a colleague questioning an employee regarding his or her sex life distributing nude images or pics of women in swimwear or photos of shirtless males in the workplace making sexual jokes sending sexually provocative text emails or messages giving unwanted presents of a romantic and sexual nature spreading sexual allegations about an employee making sexual jokes
  • A workplace must be objectionable to both the employee and a reasonable individual in the same situation in order to qualify as hostile. For instance, a female worker may feel deeply insulted if a male worker answered the door and praised her hairdo on the way to work. On the other hand, the typical individual would probably not regard such behavior to be, by itself, an instance of harassment.

Additional Information Regarding Sexual Harassment

Other aspects of free sexual harassment training that should be kept in mind include the following:

  • Harassment may also take the form of sexist statements and behaviors. It is a prevalent misunderstanding that only sexual forms of harassment may be punished by law. But Title VII also makes it unlawful for an employer to engage in discriminatory behavior against a female employee that is severe or persistent enough to foster an abusive work environment. For instance, a place of employment may be considered hostile if female employees are subjected to sexism, harassment, or other forms of discrimination on the job, such as being excluded from critical meetings or having their work destroyed by male colleagues.
  • Harassment of a sexual nature by consumers or clients. The majority of individuals are aware that it is against the law for a boss or colleague to harass an employee sexually. However, according to Title VII (, an employer has a duty to safeguard its workers against sexual harassment by outsiders. This obligation extends outside the workplace. This encompasses not just consumers but also clients, suppliers, and other business partners. An organization has a responsibility to prevent harassment if it is aware of it or should reasonably suspect it is happening on the premises.
  • Harassment of a sexual nature may happen to any gender. People have a preconceived notion that sexual harassment always involves a man pestering a woman. This is because of the way the term has been used historically. Even while this is by far the most typical occurrence, there have been several reports of instances in which women harassed male coworkers. Harassment committed by a person of the same gender against another person of the same gender is likewise against the law. It is not necessary for there to be any sexual desire at the root of the harassment either. 

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