BrainMaster500 asked this question on 4/21/2000:
What does sexual harassment really mean and how do we know when open flirting becomes sexual harassment? Answers please. I have one so tell me yours!
fastest222 gave this response on 4/23/2000:
sexual harassment is define by "any unwelcome" action of a sexual nature. The problem with the term "flirting" or "dirty words" is that you technically it is not sexual harassment to say the "f word, in front of somebody, in itself. But, if the person that you say it to, or in their presence, feels it is UNWELCOME, then you have a problem.
EX: say YOU ask a co-worker out on a date. You date her for 3 months and everything is fine. She breaks it off and tells you she's through. You ask her ONE MORE TIME at work, to go out. THAT IS sexual harassment.
Doesn't feel like it. You merely asked her one simple question. You didn't feel as though you were harassing her perse, but technically, it is SH.
EX: You have been telling jokes in the breakroom for 5 years and every body laughs. One day you tell another dirty type joke and someone complains. THAT IS sexual harassment. (and they now have a LONG history of you committing sexual harassment) This complainant might say she has been SUBJECTED to these jokes for 5 years and she cannot take it anymore.)
So do you catch my drift when I say it's hard when you use the word "flirting" and not think it is SH? Mr. Suave & Debonair can do this successfully and build a reputation for being a flirt at work for years....but, one wrong word, to the wrong person, will label you as a sexual harasser under the law.
There are other areas of SH, like the "hostile work environment". This is where you make statements of a sexual nature and base the ability to keep their job on whether they will accommodate you. This is a HUGE no-no. ;-) As well, if you are a direct supervisor of the person you do this to, it is even more suceptible to the SH rules.
The average rating for this answer is 4.