Any sexually oriented comment, physical contact, or behavior that offends or embarrasses another employee is classified as sexual harassment. Sharing vulgar sexist jokes, ignoring boundaries of personal space, and making passes are common examples of sexual harassment that make employees uncomfortable. Gender-based threats and demands for sexual favors in exchange for job security cause humiliation, anger, and fear in targeted employees.
According to the Canada Labour Code, workers are entitled to freedom from sexual harassment, and it is the responsibility of the employer to provide a persecution-free environment. To be proactive about prevention, businesses should have policies in place that define sexual harassment, advise how to file complaints, and specify penalties for offenders. If a supervisor, employee, or business partner is sexually harassing one of your staff members, you must take measures to stop it.