Definitions

Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment is generally known as sexual conduct (including comments and/or gestures) that is known or ought reasonable to be known as unwelcome. This could include a sexual advance made by an individual in a position of power to a subordinate, retaliation or threat of retaliation. 

Sexual harassment is a type of sex discrimination and is prohibited under the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act.  

The sample Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy offers a number of other definitions of behaviours that can be addressed by this policy.

It’s important to address sexual harassment in the workplace. Failure to address could:

  • Lead to legal challenges;
  • Result in a grievance, in an unionized environment;
  • Lead to a toxic work environment;
  • Lead to loss of employees;
  • Damage reputation;
  • Damage moral and productivity; and
  • Result in a loss of profit. 

It’s important to foster a psychologically safe environment in the workplace. It should be free of harassment and employees should feel comfortable bringing issues to management, trusting that these issues can be addressed in a safe and fair manner. 

You can address sexual harassment in the workplace by:

  • Implementing a policy that addresses sexual harassment in the workplace;
  • Modelling behaviour that demonstrates sexual harassment will not be tolerated; 
  • And ensuring the employees are educated about the policy, and their rights and obligations under the policy. 

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