What constitutes sexual harassment in the workplace?

On Behalf of | Feb 2, 2024 | Employment Law |

On-the-job sexual harassment is a pervasive issue that affects professionals across many disciplines. The effects of untoward behavior are corrosive, no matter the setting.

Only when people recognize unacceptable conduct can they take meaningful action to stop such activity.

Verbal harassment

Language becomes a weapon when one wields it in such a fashion. Even today, unwelcome comments, jokes and advances of a sexual nature are dismayingly common. Such talk builds discomfort and contributes to a hostile atmosphere. Colleagues must be mindful of their words to maintain a respectful workspace.

Unwanted touching

Physical contact without consent is another form of sexual harassment. Uninvited touching, hugging or brushing against someone produces an uncomfortable and intimidating environment. It is inexcusable when someone fails to respect a co-worker’s personal space and crosses clear boundaries.

Quid pro quo

Nefarious bosses may tie job benefits and career advancement opportunities to whether one accepts sexual advances. A team member may feel there is no choice but to comply. Abusing power in this manner creates a coercive atmosphere that is highly corrosive. Career advancement should not hinge on unsavory favors.

Cyber harassment

With the rise of digital communication, cyber harassment is a bigger problem than ever. Sending explicit messages and images in any fashion remains intolerable. Employers should issue clear policies regarding online conduct to discourage technological abuse within their organizations.

Curbing sexual harassment helps foster a world where everyone feels maximum safety and comfort. By actively addressing this matter, employers contribute to the rise of an inclusive workforce.