Unacceptable behaviors that could lead to Sexual Harassment

Category: Harassment
Posted: 03-16-2011 11:49 PM
Views: 1056
Synopsis:

There are numerous behaviors that could lead to sexual harassment in the workplace. We are all used to the examples we see in TV or movies about the manager who demands sexual favors from his workers, but although this obvious version of harassment still exists, it now occurs mostly in the form of Hostile Environment Harassment. This type of harassment occurs when sexual behaviors are unwanted and continuous and create an intimidating, hostile or offensive working enviroment. Sexual Harassment training should include every behavior listed below.

There are numerous behaviors that could lead to sexual harassment in the workplace. We are all used to the examples we see in TV or movies about the manager who demands sexual favors from his workers, but although this obvious version of harassment still exists, it now occurs mostly in the form of Hostile Environment Harassment. This type of harassment occurs when sexual behaviors are unwanted and continuous and create an intimidating, hostile or offensive working enviroment. Sexual Harassment training should include every behavior listed below.

If you take each of these behaviors individually they probably don’t constitute Sexual Harassment.  The legal standard of Sexual Harassment requires the behaviors to be continuous, unwanted and meet the "reasonable person standard” that courts have set as a barometer for offensive behaviors.  Single acts of harassment generally don't result in illegal harassment.

  • Unwanted flirting
  • Repeated requests for dates
  • Suggestive whistling
  • Leering
  • Catcalls
  • Long stares and sexually suggestive looks
  • Using crude or offensive language
  • Making derogatory comments about a person’s sexual orientation
  • Making jokes or comments about a person’s physical attributes
  • Inappropriate remarks or jokes about a woman’s pregnancy
  • Shoulder massages
  • Hugging
  • Back scratching. (different than video text)
  • Gossiping or spreading rumors about sexual topics, or engaging in sexual conversations that are overheard by others
  • The use of demeaning or offensive names such as honey, sweetie, hottie, baby, girl, boy or hunk
  • Viewing or posting of sexual pictures, magazines, posters, videos or images
  • Sending sexually explicit emails
  • Viewing sexually-based or pornographic websites
  • The use of Social networking sites for sexually-based messages or pictures
  • Offensive gender based comments or behaviors that denigrate people simply because of their gender, such as "A woman’s place is in the kitchen, not the boardroom.”
  • Texting or sexting sexually explicit messages or pictures via your cell phone

Barbara Williams is a writer and producer of sexual harassment training videos for TrainingABC. TrainingABC is a distributor of sexual harassment video and sexual harassment DVD training programs.

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