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What are some common signs of workplace sexual harassment?

On Behalf of | Aug 23, 2021 | Sexual Harassment

As an employee in Hawaii, you expect your workplace to be free of toxicity and inappropriate behavior. Unfortunately, in spite of the law making it illegal, sexual harassment still occurs in many workplaces and in social situations. If you believe you or someone else has been a victim, it’s important to know the signs of sexual harassment.

Constantly flirting without consent

While flirting, in general, is often not considered sexual harassment, it can become that way. If a person constantly flirts with a person even after that person let them know that they were not interested, it constitutes harassment. When this occurs in the workplace, it can make things extremely uncomfortable for the object of the flirtation.

Sexual jokes and conversations

Friends may sometimes make jokes and conversations that may be sexual in nature. While it’s fine among friends, that isn’t the case in the workplace. These types of conversations and jokes can make people uncomfortable and can even be considered sexual harassment.

Whether the comments are made directly or indirectly, they can make the workplace feel hostile. Even those who try to simply laugh it off may feel inwardly uncomfortable but not speak up.

Comments about one’s physical appearance

Paying compliments in the workplace is fine. However, when those compliments are specifically about a part of a person’s appearance, such as their backside or breasts, it’s a form of sexual harassment. Simply saying, “I like your blouse” is an acceptable compliment. On the other hand, telling a coworker, “Those pants really hug your butt” is sexual harassment.

Stalking someone digitally

Sexual harassment can also be done digitally and online. Whether the person does it through social media or through text messaging, if they make contact with a coworker at strange hours, it is a subtle form of sexual harassment. They might even make it seem as though they’re making the contact for work-related reasons. If the other person tells them to stop contacting them and it continues, that’s considered sexual harassment.