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What exactly is considered sexual harassment?

On Behalf of | Aug 10, 2017 | Employment Litigation

The concept of sexual harassment in the workplace is not anything new to most people in Florida. Much has been said and heard about this topic for several decades. However, sexual harassment can still be somewhat misunderstood even today. This is because what can constitute sexual harassment is not always as clearly defined as many people may think. Some may believe that sexual harassment is when one person makes overt sexual advances toward another person at work. While this may be one form of sexual harassment it is far from the only thing that comes under the sexual harassment umbrella.

The Balance explains that sexual harassment may involve physical or non-physical actions, comments and even expressions or behaviors that are in some form sexual in nature. At the heart of determining whether or not something may be deemed as sexually harassing is the result. Anything that leads a work environment to be hostile or make someone feel unsafe could be sexual harassment. Another key factor is that the action, comment or behavior is unwanted and may even be overly rejected. It may happen only once or multiple times.

Whether suggestive or explicit, things like jokes, stories, emails or even personal accounts may constitute sexual harassment depending upon their content and message. Ogling or gesturing may also be. Sexual harassment may come from a colleague, manager, customer, vendor or contractor.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give Florida residents and business people an understanding of the many forms that sexual harassment in the workplace may actually take.