As reports of harassment in the workplace become more common, people think they fully understand what harassment is and how to ensure their organization can prevent it and respond appropriately. But what is harassment, legally speaking? And how can workplaces protect themselves from it?

Understanding Harassment Legally

Harassment is not only about unwelcoming or inappropriate sexual conduct, but can also be based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, or genetic information.

To be unlawful, the unwelcomed conduct in the workplace has to be both:

  • Subjectively offensive or abusive to the person affected, and;
  • Objectively severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person finds abusive, offensive, or hostile.

To determine whether an episode of harassment is severe or pervasive, it’s necessary to take into account the following factors, on a case-to-case basis:

  • the frequency of the unwelcoming conduct;
  • its seriousness;
  • the professional position of the harasser (e.g. whether the harasser was in any type of leadership within the organization; but note that the harasser can be anyone in the workplace); and,
  • the effect of the conduct on the employee’s workplace performance or psychological wellbeing.

Workplace Harassment Examples

When thinking about the types of workplace harassment to prevent, it’s helpful to consider three main categories of offending behavior:

Verbal/Written Harassment

  • Sending emails with offensive language, including but not limiting to jokes or graphics about gender identity, race, religions, and so on;
  • Making derogatory comments about someone’s appearance
  • Repeatedly requesting dates or sexual favors in person or through text messages
  • Asking about someone’s personal medical history

Physical Harassment

  • Nonconsensual or unwelcome touching of a person or their clothing
  • Making sexually suggestive facial expressions
  • Frequently standing or staying too close to a person on purpose

Visual Harassment

  • Wearing clothes with offensive or vulgar language
  • Showing sexually suggestive text messages, pictures, or feeds
  • Displaying posters or pictures of offensive or sexual nature

The takeaway

Prevention is the best tool to eliminate harassment in the workplace; employers should take appropriate steps to prevent and correct unlawful harassment. Talking to a lawyer can help you better understand your employees’ workplace rights. Find your ideal lawyer for free at www.trusli.com.

Preventing Harassment in the Workplace

Sign up to receive our email newsletters

Thank you for subscribing!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Gloria Qiao J.D.
CEO

Gloria is the founder of Sleegal.ai, seasoned lawyer, business person and entrepreneur, determined to bring legal help to you at an affordable cost efficiently.

Gloria Qiao J.D.
CEO

Gloria is the founder of Sleegal.ai, seasoned lawyer, business person and entrepreneur, determined to bring legal help to you at an affordable cost efficiently.

Got a question?

Drop us a note. We will get back to you within 1 business day.

Thank you! Your inquiry has been received.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Blog

Procurement Automation Should Not Stop With Approvals and Automated Workflows

August 9, 2022

Recently, we have discussed how to best begin deploying AI and technology in support of lawyers. But what about procurement?

Read more

How to automate your contract negotiation? The legal playbook is the answer

August 5, 2022

When it comes to lawyers using AI and technology, many general counsels and heads of procurement ask us: where is the best place to start?

Read more

Consider changing your business type? It's easier than you think

July 28, 2022

We will discuss why businesses want to change the business type (most of the time, from a less complex structure to a more complex structure) and how to change the business type. 

Read more

Why and How Trusli Will Lead the Technlogy Innovation for Lawyers (And Others)

July 21, 2022

Many of the readers may ask: why you? Why do you believe that you are uniquely positioned to lead technology for lawyers, build lawyer tools, and even for others like in-house departments of tech companies? And if you are qualified, how will you do so differently from others? Here are some thoughts.

Read more

Why Document Automation Is the Core of All Law Firm Automation

July 12, 2022

While there are tons of processes to automate and apply machine learning for law firm practice management software, a great place to start is document automation for large and small law firms. Here at Trusli, we have developed multiple automation tools that are contextual, intelligent, and pain-free for lawyers.

Read more

Infringement or Necessity? The Balancing Act of the Second Amendment Gun Ownership Rights

June 30, 2022

A mass shooting is an incident in which four or more people were shot or killed, excluding the shooter. As of May 31, there were 230 mass shootings in the United States in 2022. This topic has been especially discussed in the media recently after the Uvalde Elementary School shooting where 19 students and 2 teachers were fatally shot by an 18-year-old who legally bought AR rifles just days before the shooting.

Read more
View all posts
// EMAIL DOMAINS TO BLOCK var emailList = /^([\w-\.]+@(?!gmail.com)(?!yahoo.com)(?!hotmail.com)(?!aol.com)(?!hotmail.co.uk)(?!hotmail.fr)(?!msn.com)(?!yahoo.fr)(?!wanadoo.fr)(?!orange.fr)(?!comcast.net)(?!yahoo.co.uk)(?!yahoo.com.br)(?!yahoo.co.in)(?!live.com)(?!rediffmail.com)(?!free.fr)(?!gmx.de)(?!web.de)(?!yandex.ru)(?!ymail.com)(?!libero.it)(?!outlook.com)(?!uol.com.br)(?!bol.com.br)(?!mail.ru)(?!cox.net)(?!hotmail.it)(?!sbcglobal.net)(?!sfr.fr)(?!live.fr)(?!verizon.net)(?!live.co.uk)(?!googlemail.com)(?!yahoo.es)(?!ig.com.br)(?!live.nl)(?!bigpond.com)(?!terra.com.br)(?!yahoo.it)(?!neuf.fr)(?!yahoo.de)(?!alice.it)(?!rocketmail.com)(?!att.net)(?!laposte.net)(?!facebook.com)(?!bellsouth.net)(?!yahoo.in)(?!hotmail.es)(?!charter.net)(?!yahoo.ca)(?!yahoo.com.au)(?!rambler.ru)(?!hotmail.de)(?!tiscali.it)(?!shaw.ca)(?!yahoo.co.jp)(?!sky.com)(?!earthlink.net)(?!optonline.net)(?!freenet.de)(?!t-online.de)(?!aliceadsl.fr)(?!virgilio.it)(?!home.nl)(?!qq.com)(?!telenet.be)(?!me.com)(?!yahoo.com.ar)(?!tiscali.co.uk)(?!yahoo.com.mx)(?!voila.fr)(?!gmx.net)(?!mail.com)(?!planet.nl)(?!tin.it)(?!live.it)(?!ntlworld.com)(?!arcor.de)(?!yahoo.co.id)(?!frontiernet.net)(?!hetnet.nl)(?!live.com.au)(?!yahoo.com.sg)(?!zonnet.nl)(?!club-internet.fr)(?!juno.com)(?!optusnet.com.au)(?!blueyonder.co.uk)(?!bluewin.ch)(?!skynet.be)(?!sympatico.ca)(?!windstream.net)(?!mac.com)(?!centurytel.net)(?!chello.nl)(?!live.ca)(?!aim.com)(?!bigpond.net.au)([\w-]+\.)+[\w-]{2,4})?$/ // ALERT MESSAGE TO BE SHOWN var emailAlert = 'Please input a valid work email address (NOT Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, etc.)' // VALIDATion $('input[type=submit]').click(function() { $("input[type=email]").each(function() { var email = $(this).val().toLowerCase(); if (emailList.test(email)) { (this).setCustomValidity(''); } else { (this).setCustomValidity(emailAlert); } }) }); // PREVENTS ALERT FROM APPEARING WITH EACH KEYPRESS $('input[type=email]').on('input', function() { (this).setCustomValidity(''); });