Sexual harassment in the workplace is an unlawful form of discrimination. The legal definition of sexual harassment in the workplace differs depending where you live and what laws apply. Across North America, however, the behaviour and conduct that constitute sexual harassment are quite consistent across jurisdictions.
Generally, sexual harassment is defined as conduct or comments that are known (or should reasonably be known) to be unwelcome. The unwelcome comments or acts are based on a person’s sex and/or (depending on the laws of the jurisdiction) their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.Generally, more than one comment or act is required to meet the definition, although if severe enough, a single event could suffice.
What kind of conduct and comments are we talking about? What exactly constitutes sexual harassment in the workplace? The answer is not always clear, leading a person to question, “have I been sexually harassed?” Or, “is the way I just behaved considered sexual harassment?”