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Sexual Harassment Part 1


With a new batch of college graduates entering the workforce, it’s important to revisit a few workforce basics, one of which is sexual harassment. What may be seen as acceptable behaviour in school could land a young worker in a difficult situation at work. Many experienced workers are still uncomfortable addressing the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace. There are those who believe it is just a bunch of nonsense and some hurry to push the issue under the rug to avoid it all together. Regardless of your personal feelings about this issue it needs to be addressed. The first part in this two-part series will address some basic questions to help you understand sexual harassment.{{more}}

Q. What is sexual harassment?

A. It is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, verbal statements, or physical contact that are of a sexual nature, or displaying objects or pictures that are sexually suggestive.

Q. What should I do if I think I’ve been sexually harassed?

A. Let the person know immediately that their behaviour is not welcomed. If it persists report the incident to a supervisor immediately. Document the incident and keep a personal record in the event you may need legal representation.

Q. What should I do if my supervisor is the offender?

A. Report the incident to your Human Resources office immediately. If you do not have a human resources department go to the person in charge of handling employee complaints.

Q. Is flirting sexual harassment?

A. It can only be classified as sexual harassment if the person you have an interest in considers this behaviour unwanted and unwelcomed.

General rule is to avoid flirtatious behaviour on the job.

Q. How do I know if the person does not like my behaviour?

A. You can always ask. The person can let you know verbally, or with her or his body language. When you are told “no,” you must accept it, even if you don’t believe it. NO MEANS NO.

Q. Is sexual harassment only between persons of the opposite sex?

A. No. Sexual harassment can also occur female to female or male to male.

• Karen Hinds President/CEO
Workplace Success Group
Toll Free: 1-877-902-2775
Tel: 1-203-757-4103
Creator of The Workplace Success Program (TM)