Sexual harassment does not refer to purely voluntary and welcome social activities. It refers to behavior that is not welcome by the individual, that is personally offensive to him/her, and that undermines morale and, / or interferes with the ability of the individual to work effectively. While it is not possible to list all the circumstances that may constitute sexual harassment, the following are some examples of conduct which, if unwelcome, may constitute sexual harassment depending upon the totality of the circumstances, including the severity of the conduct and its pervasiveness:
Verbal abuse of a sexual nature use of sexually degrading words jokes or language of a sexual nature.
Conversation or gossip with sexual overtones obscene or suggestive gestures or sounds sexually-oriented teasing.
Inquiries into one’s sexual experiences.
Verbal comments of a sexual nature about an individual’s appearance or sexual terms used to describe an individual discussion of one’s sexual activities.
Jokes or threats directed at a person because of his/her sexual preferences.
Unwelcome and repeated invitations (i.e. for lunch, dinner, drinks, dates, sexual relations) physical contact, such as touching, hugging, kissing, stroking, fondling, patting, pinching, or repeated brushing up against another’s body.
Demands or requests for sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt threats concerning an individual’s employment, status or promises of preferential treatment.
Deliberate bumping, cornering, mauling, grabbing assaults, molestation or coerced sexual acts.
Posting or distributing sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons or other materials sexually oriented letters or notes.
Sending offensive or discriminatory messages or materials through the use of electronic communications (i.e. electronic mail, including the Internet mail and facsimile) which contain overt sexual language, sexual implications or innuendo, or that offensively address someone’s sexual orientation.
Staring at parts of a person’s body sexually suggestive gestures, leering condoning sexual harassment
Sexual harassment is not limited to prohibited behavior by a male employee toward a female employee. Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances. A man, as well as a woman, may be the victim of sexual harassment, and a woman, as well as a man, may be the harasser, the harasser does not have to be the victim’s supervisor. The victim does not have to be the opposite sex from the harasser. The victim does not have to be the person at whom the unwelcome sexual conduct is directed. The victim may be someone who is affected by the harassing conduct! Even when it is directed toward another person, if the conduct creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment for the co-worker, or interferes with the co-worker’s work performance.
Therefore, it is the policy for any individual, male or female, of harassment or to harass another individual sexually by making unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other uninvited verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. It is also against the business policy that such conduct is made either implicitly or explicitly a term or condition of an employee’s employment.