In Canada the following behaviors constitute sexual harassment at work. The key question asked when determining sexual harassment is: "was the action unwanted by the complainant?" If the answer is "Yes" then there is a case for sexual harassment to be filed.
Sexual harassment incidences usually fall into one of the following categories:
Gender harassment, with behaviors such as: negative remarks, jokes about the opposite sex or about a co-worker's sexual orientation.
Unwanted non-verbal sexual advances such as: inappropriate touching, intentionally getting too close, leering, making sexual gestures, and sexual assault.
Verbal sexual attention such as: sharing insulting jokes or remarks about a co-worker or group of individuals; asking unwanted questions about a colleague?s sex life; and pestering a employee for sexual favours.
Sexual coercion which include: threats of demotion; or job loss; and offering job benefits in exchange for sexual favours.
Should you experience any one or more of the above incidences of sexual harassment at work, there are certain steps you can take to curb the unwanted behavior.
For assistance with handling sexual harassment investigations, or to conduct training on handling sexual harassment issues in your organization, contact us.