Home Compliance Identifying Forms of Sexual Harassment is Paramount to Prevention

Identifying Forms of Sexual Harassment is Paramount to Prevention

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A recent study by the Department of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University found that only 6% of U.S. adults employed in industries with the highest rates of sexual misconduct could correctly identify seven work scenarios as sexual harassment. It turns out that there is each case provided a legal basis for filing a sexual harassment complaint.

The research highlights that targets and bystanders of sexual harassment often have difficulty identifying physical, verbal and visual forms of misconduct. If unrecognized, unreported and addressed due to lack of awareness or fear of retaliation, sexual harassment can have serious legal consequences and negatively impact workplace morale, engagement and retention.

Ongoing sexual harassment prevention training plays an important role in raising workplace awareness of what harassment is, how to safely intervene and how to report harassment. Currently, seven states, including California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, New York and Washington, require employers to provide sexual harassment training. As of July 1, 2022, Chicago became the latest city to impose annual sexual harassment prevention and bystander training requirements for employees and managers.

Visualization of sexual harassment through training

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines sexual harassment as any form of unwanted sexual advance, sexual harassment, or sexual harassment that affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s job performance, or produces intimidating behavior. It defines favor requests and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. A hostile or offensive work environment.

Sexual harassment is a problem in many industries, but different work environments and types of harassment can make it difficult for employees and managers to recognize inappropriate behavior when it occurs. I have. To address this, the EEOC recommends that employers provide ongoing anti-harassment training to employees and managers that incorporates “the everyday experiences and unique characteristics of the job, workforce, and workplace.”

Take-out? Sexual harassment in the workplace isn’t always obvious. The solution is to provide ongoing sexual harassment prevention training. This allows employees to bridge the gap between training experience and real-world applications. By inserting learners into interactive narratives that require them to handle realistic scenarios to correctly identify forms of sexual harassment, organizations can raise employee awareness of inappropriate behavior and create safer, more respectful workplaces. It can promote a certain work environment.

3 types of sexual harassment

Sexual harassment in the workplace can involve many forms of behavior. Employers should be aware of three types of sexual misconduct.

Physical sexual harassment

Any unwanted physical contact that makes a co-worker uncomfortable can be considered sexual harassment. Handshakes, high fives, and light shoulder tapping are harmless and unlikely to be considered sexual. However, other types of unjustified physical contact that are not sexual can be problematic. For example:

  • neck and shoulder massage
  • hugging, kissing, petting, stroking
  • touching any part of a person’s body is not welcome
  • brushing or bumping other people
  • leaning over or getting too close
  • sexually touching or rubbing around other people
  • chasing, obstructing
  • sexual assault

Verbal sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is not limited to physical contact. Behavior that makes a co-worker uncomfortable can also be considered sexual harassment. For example:

  • cat call
  • sexual remarks, jokes or stories
  • allusion
  • kiss sound
  • sexist comments
  • sexual comments about someone’s clothing, hair, complexion, or build
  • repeatedly asking uninterested people
  • verbal sexual advances, invitations, or suggestions

visual sexual harassment

Visual behavior and content can also be sexual harassment beyond professional conduct and includes electronic content such as social media, text, and email. For example:

  • look people up and down
  • stare sideways
  • create facial expressions such as winking, blowing kisses, and licking lips
  • making obscene gestures with hand or body movements
  • leave someone a note containing sexual messages or pictures
  • sending provocative videos, website links, photos, emails, or text messages
  • display suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons, or posters
  • undressing in public

Triant Insight

Sexual harassment can be overt or subtle, as the harasser’s behavior can take many forms. Ongoing sexual harassment prevention training, tailored to industry and real-world work scenarios, helps employees and managers identify, disrupt, and report forms of sexual harassment and helps organizations comply with state and city mandates. It also helps you comply with established training requirements.

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