Any form or type of harassment perceived as having explicit or implicit sexual overtones, or unwelcome behaviour that’s sexual, offensive, humiliating or intimidating.
Sexual harassment does not always have to be specifically targeted at one person or be concentrated around sexual behaviour. It can also revolve around sexist comments directed towards a specific group or gender, and be general workplace conduct of an employee.
Sexual harassment can be perpetrated by any employee, and targeted towards one other employee, a group, or be general behaviour. There does not need to be a specific relationship (supervisory, colleague, etc.) with another employee for the behaviour to count towards sexual harassment.
Workplace sexual harassment can occur in any type of work or learning environment. There can be many different scenarios we can consider as sexual harassment. It is especially important to remember that it can also occur in non-office settings, outside of working hours, or outside of work-related communications platforms.
Some forms or types of workplace sexual harassment include:
Suggestive comments or jokes
Staring or leering/unwanted sexual looks
Sexually explicit pictures or posters
Unwanted invitations to go out on dates
Requests for sex
Asking for sexual favours in return for something
Intrusive questions about a person’s private life or body
Unnecessary physical familiarity
Insults or taunts based on sex or gender
Sexually explicit physical contact
Sexually explicit emails or text messages
Whistling or cat calling
Personal questions about social or sexual life
Inappropriate comments made about someone’s clothing or anatomy
Telling lies or spreading rumours about a person’s personal sex life