I decided doing a post on defining sexual harassment at work after a conversation with a mate. It all came about after I posted what I thought was a really funny little Johnny meme. I asked my mate Mitch from I’m Just Sharing to review it and he had this to say; “Over here, if that actually happened at work they’d have fired you for sexual harassment, whether the woman laughed or not.” You should read the post to put that comment into context.
After reading Mitch’s comment, I thought to myself, really? Have things gotten so bad that you can’t even joke around at work without being accused of sexual harassment?
What Is Sexual Harassment In The Workplace?
According to the Human Rights Commissio;
Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual behaviour, which could be expected to make a person feel offended, humiliated or intimidated. It can be physical, verbal or written.
Sexual harassment is covered in the workplace when it happens:
- at work
- at work-related events
- between people sharing the same workplace
- between colleagues outside of work.
So what is unwelcome sexual behaviour? I don’t think that by that definition what I did at work would be classified as sexual harassment? What do you think? It sure as hell wasn’t anywhere near what Harvey Weinstein is accused of.
So, if a bloke is flirting with a female team member and she doesn’t seem to mind, is that sexual harassment? She may not complain but what if another team member overhears and then passes it all upstairs? If that bloke gets the boot, would you consider that fair?
Personally, in the above situation I would consider it unfair because, if she didn’t complain then it doesn’t fit into the “unwelcome sexual behaviour” category. Whereas if she did complain and the dickhead persisted then by all means, the wanker should be castigated as a sexual harassment offender.
Do me a favour, check out the story behind my funny little Johnny meme and tell me if you think what I did should fall in the sexual harassment category.
If you’re interested in defining sexual harassment you’ll find heaps of stuff on it at Amazon.