Sexual Harassment something to remember

There is more to a potential sexual harassment claim than quid pro quo, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. The one a lot of individuals over look is hostile environment. Hostile environment can come from not only supervisors who have control over your position but from peers, vendors, clients or anyone else who interacts with individuals on the job. Here are some examples:

  • Unnecessary touching; A light touch to the shoulder, hand, etc. can be a sign of understanding or warmth however in the work place it can make the other person uncomfortable. If you are a flirtatious or touchy person by nature, don't forget that there are allot of individuals who are not or don't appreciate it. The best course is to not touch another co-worker even if you just wanting to comfort or show understanding.
  • After hours texting; There is such a fine line when developing friendships in the work place. Be cautious in the context of your verbiage when addressing peers, subordinates, managers outside of work hours
  • Commenting on physical attributes or appearances; You may be just wanting to pay the person a compliment however it may be perceived as creepy and unwanted. The best policy to is to not do it.
  • Joking: Committing an act that can be perceived wrong and then joking about sexual harassment. Example: You look beautiful today in that dress! Oops I better not say that, I don't want you to report to HR for sexual harassment (laughing).
  • Others include: discussing sexual activities; telling jokes, using inappropriate terms such as sweetheart or honey; using inappropriate gestures; fighting; using offensive language.

ALWAYS REMEMBER: Someones good intentions can be misconstrued. Ones definition of inappropriate, offensive, or a compliment can vary from one individual to the next. It is so easy to forget what is innocent to you may not be to someone else.

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Posted in Law Post Date 01/19/2015