Sexual Harassment May Involve

Sexual harassment may involve:

  • unwelcome comments about someone’s body or their sexuality
  • sexual propositions
  • sexist jokes and language
  • demanding dates or sexual favours
  • the display of sexual images (such as pornography) where others can see
  • unwanted touching or sexual assault
  • demeaning and sexually explicit bragging (what is often called “locker room talk”)
  • intrusive questions about someone’s gender identity or body
  • sexually suggestive gestures or looks
  • sending someone unwanted sexual images, text messages, or emails
  • using sexist, transphobic, biphobic, or homophobic language, or any other behaviour that targets someone’s gender identity or sexuality

These are only some examples of harassing behaviour. Sexual harassment can involve any behaviour that is sexual in nature, is enacted without consent, and that causes distress or offence to those who are exposed to it.

These kinds of behaviours do not need to be targeted at a particular person to be considered sexual harassment under the law. For example, if you hear a co-worker making sexist jokes or if you are exposed to sexual images on a co-worker’s computer, you are within your right to raise concerns about this behaviour. You may not be the only one who is made to feel uncomfortable by this behaviour.

Remember that you, and everyone around you, have a right to work in an environment that is safe, respectful, welcoming of diversity, and free from discrimination and harassment.