Sexual harassment may range from sexual innuendoes made at inappropriate times, perhaps in the guise of humor, to coerced sexual relations.
Sexual harassment occurs when unwelcome conduct is engaged in because of the targeted individual’s sex, and: … 3. Such conduct is so severe or pervasive that its effect, whether or not intended, is an environment that could be considered by a reasonable person, and is in fact considered by the individual, as intimidating, hostile or offensive.
Sexual harassment can be written (in print or electronically), verbal, visual or physical. Examples of harassment include:
- Written communications, such as sending inappropriate jokes or comments in print or by e-mail;
- Verbal communications, such as making graphic or degrading comments about an individual and/or his or her body or personal characteristics, or using epithets, derogatory comments or slurs;
- Physical acts, such as unwanted touching, physical interference, or even assault;
- Visual acts or displays, such as derogatory cartoons, drawings, or posters, or inappropriate gestures;
- Making unwelcome sexual advances or propositions, or offering employment benefits or giving preferential treatment in exchange for sexual favors;
- Making or threatening reprisals after a negative response to unwelcome conduct.