Everybody speaks about harassment these days. But very few really know what it is. In this short article put together by members of the #NotMe team (with the help of some top employment lawyers), we will briefly give you a quick overview on sexual harassment.

What is sexual harassment?

Various behaviors can constitute sexual harassment. For example, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects your employment, unreasonably interferes with yo work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.

For it to be sexual harassment, the conduct of the offender must be considered by you offensive and unwelcomed.

Who can be a harasser?

The harasser can be your supervisor, an agent of your employer, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or a non-employee.

It can be a woman or a man.

The victim does not have to be of the opposite sex of the harasser.

Different types of harassment?

There are two types of Harassment:

(i) Quid Pro Quo and

(ii) Hostile Work Environment

Quid Pro Quo:

Sexual harassment that occurs when a supervisor or a person in an authority position requests sex, or a sexual relationship, in exchange for not firing or otherwise punishing you, or in exchange for favors, such as a promotion or a raise.

Hostile Work Environment:

Harassment becomes unlawful where

1) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment, or

2) the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person (you) would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.

Offensive conduct may include offensive jokes, slurs, epithets or name-calling, physical assaults or threats, intimidation, ridicule or mockery, insults or put-downs, offensive objects or pictures and interference with work performance.

Petty slights, annoyances, and isolated incidents (unless extremely serious) will generally not rise to the level of harassment, but we encourage you to report them as well through the #NotMe App as these could be a pattern or predictive behavior of what’s to come. By reporting it, you may help to prevent further escalation.

To be unlawful, the conduct must create a work environment that would be intimidating, hostile, or offensive to reasonable people (you, assuming you are reasonable).

Let us debunk a few myths on sexual harassment.

Both men and women can be harassed.

Illegal sexual harassment can occur between people of the same sex.

Sexual harassment can occur outside of the workplace, if the behavior happens at a work-related event.

Supervisors or those in authority positions are not the only ones who can be harassers. A harasser can be a coworker and, in some cases, a third party such as an agent or client of the employer.

In any event, always submit a report using the #NotMe App — even when in doubt. A #NotMe Team Member will contact and follow up with you.