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Workplace sexual harassment is always criminal

On Behalf of | Apr 10, 2024 | Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment in the office is a serious concern. While it typically violates company policies, it also crosses the line into criminal territory.

Recognizing sexual harassment is the first step in putting an end to such illegal behavior.

Defining sexual harassment

Sexual harassment involves unwanted advances, explicit requests for sexual favors and other types of verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that create a hostile work environment. While any conduct of this nature remains unacceptable, it also breaches federal legislation, as it does in all other settings.

Recognizing the seriousness of sexual harassment

Sexual harassment sometimes includes threats of harm or stalking, activities that are criminal under any circumstances. When harassment involves hitting or any other forms of physical violence, it is also more than a mere breach of workplace niceties. It is a matter that merits prosecution in a court of law. If someone makes threats against another person’s safety or persistently follows another against their wishes, there may be enough evidence to put that individual behind bars.

Responding to incidents

When people believe they are experiencing or witnessing sexual harassment, they have a responsibility to act. Documentation of occurrences should include dates, times and testimony from witnesses, if any exist. Reporting the behavior to a supervisor or the human resources department is paramount, as corporate representatives can officially address the matter. Additionally, relaying details of the situation to the police is often the next step.

Sexual harassment is always intolerable. Workers who prosecute violators protect their colleagues and themselves by fostering a safer and more respectful environment for every employee.

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