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.