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What Qualifies as Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?

What Qualifies as Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?

Posted by Kathy Harrington-Sullivan | Jan 23, 2019 | 0 Comments

It can often be difficult for someone experiencing uncomfortable situations at work to decide if what they are experiencing is sexual harassment. What is considered sexual harassment? How does it differ from other, seemingly similar forms of behavior that are classified as non-sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment on the job is a form of discrimination. It can come in many forms, but some of the most common forms of sexual harassment include uninvited comments, conduct or behavior that references sex, gender or sexual orientation. Employees should be aware of what qualifies as sexual harassment so they can avoid the behavior and report any instances of sexual harassment that occur in the office environment. Sexual harassment is the type of illegal harassment most often reported, but it is not the only form of illegal harassment that occurs in the workplace or during the hiring process. Non-sexual illegal harassment includes harassing comments or behavior that interfere with an employee's success or create a hostile work environment and are related to religion, race, age, gender, national origin, disability, or pregnancy that interfere with an employee's success or create a hostile work environment.

Examples of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace:

  • Sharing inappropriate images or videos of a sexual nature.
  • Sending suggestive emails, notes or letters.
  • Making inappropriate sexual hand gestures.
  • Touching another employee inappropriately.

Examples of Non-Sexual Harassment in the Workplace:

  • Using slang, phrases or nicknames that are racist in nature.
  • Negatively commenting on an employee's religion or religious beliefs.
  • Creating or sharing inappropriate images, videos, letters, notes or emails.
  • Wearing clothing or posting imagery in a communal workspace that would be offensive to a particular religious or ethnic group.
If you are being subjected to actions or words of a sexual nature that interfere with your ability to work or that create an uncomfortable atmosphere, please get in touch with one a sexual harassment lawyer at Barrett & Farahany so we can help you protect your rights. We do things differently; justice at work is not only our profession, it's our passion.

About the Author

Kathy Harrington-Sullivan

Kathy Harrington Sullivan is a Partner at Barrett & Farahany and manages the firm's case evaluation team. Because knowledge truly is power, Kathy and the Atlanta employment attorneys on her team regularly consult with and empower potentia...

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When you reach out to us, you will receive a complimentary consultation with one of our skilled Atlanta employment attorneys. During our initial consultation with you, we can help you to better understand your rights and will work with you to determine what course of action is in your best interest. We take great pride in providing assistance based on years of experience negotiating and litigating employment matters to protect employee interests. If you find yourself in need of dedicated legal representation, we are prepared to advocate on your behalf – our goal is always to protect employee victims of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.

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