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Sexual harassment in the workplace


American law mandates that companies of a certain size educate their employees annually about sexual harassment. The Caribbean as a region is far from that but it’s important to make the information available.

We can begin to break down some of the misconceptions of sexual harassment in the workplace especially since the Internet brings a new dimension to what occurs daily. This is part one of a two-part series.{{more}}

Q: What is sexual harassment?

A: It is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, 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 behavior 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 behavior?

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

[email protected]

Creator of The Workplace Success Program (TM)