Behaviors that constitute sexual harassment
Sexual harassment encompasses a variety of behaviors that are offensive, threatening, or intimidating. It’s not just one incident that creates the situation; sexual harassment is a series of repetitious and systematic misconduct that makes someone feel uncomfortable in their work environment. If someone creates a hostile work environment for another employee, that is legally considered sexual harassment.
There are many activities that someone can engage in that are sexually offensive; some examples are sexual innuendos, nonconsensual touching, derogatory comments and remarks, sexual jokes, or explicit sexual material and unwelcome advances. To prove that you are the victim of sexual harassment you must be able to show that the misconduct is pervasive and that any other “reasonable person” would find it offensive. The legal concept of “reasonability” is used to determine if any “reasonable person” would consider it harassment if they were in the same situation as you.
There are also instances where sexual harassment can be one single act. If someone in a position of authority or who holds power over your work performance makes a sexual advance that is tied to your job advancement, that is considered sexual harassment. In the same manner, if a person who is responsible for your work review makes it known either implicitly or explicitly that you will face negative consequences if you don’t comply with their advances, that can also be considered sexual harassment.