The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has defined sexual harassment in its regulations. That definition is similarly applicable to all other forms of harassment based on protected characteristics of sexual orientation, race, religion, disability, age and ethnic background. Sexual harassment is defined as:
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when: ... Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, abusive or offensive environment.