Sexual Harassment is in the Eye of the Beholder

Most people know it is not okay to sexually harass people at work.  What many people don’t realize is that sexual harassment is a lot more than just trying to coerce someone into sleeping with their boss, inappropriately touching a coworker, or making sexually explicit comments about a coworker.

The kind of kidding around you do with a buddy can be harassment when said at work.  Have you ever called a coworker a “pussy”?  What if a female coworker overheard you?  She might be bothered by you comparing someone to a female body part in an insulting way.   Maybe you have heard a coworker talk about how someone got “raped” when they did a bad job?  How do you think a coworker who had been sexually assaulted would feel about hearing someone say that?  It can be as simple as you and a girlfriend being mad at a coworker and saying “what a slut!” when she walked by.  The fact that a group is all women or all men does not make sex-related language okay at work.  Even if something does not bother you, it may offend or hurt a coworker.  Remember, it is not what you think is alright that matters, but what the people around you feel.  Be respectful to your coworkers and keep it clean in the workplace.