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Hostile Workplace Sexual Harassment

Hostile Work Environment occurs when an employee is subjected to unwelcome verbal or physical conduct based on race, color, religion, sex (whether or not of a sexual nature and including same-gender harassment), national origin, age, disability (mental or physical), sexual orientation, retaliation, or other legally protected characteristics when: 1. the conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a hostile work environment; or 2. a supervisor's harassing conduct results in a tangible change in an employee's employment status or benefits (for example, demotion, termination, failure to promote, etc.). Examples of this type of harassment can include:
  • Off-color jokes, jokes about physical appearance, race
  • Compliments on an individual’s appearance or dress
  • Conversations between employees that take a racy turn: perhaps a wild weekend or a hot date
  • Images (photos, artwork, cartoons) that employees display in their workspace or share with each other in their photos, through e-mail, or otherwise
  • Taking pictures of other employees; sending pictures of employees to others