Prevent Sexual HarassmentPrevent Sexual Harassment
in the Workplace
Video DVD and E-Learning program on preventing sexual harassment in the workplace
by HR Proactive - Profit by Proactive PreventionTM

HR Proactive Inc.

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Sexual Harassment

Examples of sexual harassment and gender-based harassment

    Employers have a duty to keep a poison-free work environment and to take steps to make sure that sexual harassment is not taking place. Once they learn of sexual harassment, employers must take immediate action to investigate and remedy the situation. Having a policy and providing training and education is the best line of defence against sexual harassment.

    HR Proactive can provide individual ďone to oneĒ training, coaching for your staff Ė View our sample training brochure. We also specializes in harassment investigations.

  • demanding hugs
  • invading personal space
  • making unnecessary physical contact, including unwanted touching, etc.
  • using language that puts someone down and/or comments toward women (or men, in some cases), sex-specific derogatory names
  • leering or inappropriate staring
  • making gender-related comments about someoneís physical characteristics or mannerisms
  • making comments or treating someone badly because they donít conform with sex-role stereotypes
  • showing or sending pornography, sexual pictures or cartoons, sexually explicit graffiti, or other sexual images (including online)
  • sexual jokes, including passing around written sexual jokes (for example, by e-mail)
  • rough and vulgar humour or language related to gender
  • using sexual or gender-related comment or conduct to bully someone
  • spreading sexual rumours (including online)
  • making suggestive or offensive comments or hints about members of a specific gender
  • making sexual propositions
  • verbally abusing, threatening or taunting someone based on gender
  • bragging about sexual prowess
  • demanding dates or sexual favours
  • making offensive sexual jokes or comments
  • asking questions or talking about sexual activities
  • making an employee dress in a sexualized or gender-specific way
  • acting paternally in a way that someone thinks undermines their self-respect or position of responsibility
  • making threats to penalize or otherwise punish a person who refuses to comply with sexual advances (known as reprisal).
Source: Policy on preventing sexual and gender-based harassment, Ontario Human Rights Commission

What to do if you believe you are being sexually harassed

If you are sexually harassed:

Remember that itís not your fault. Harassers are responsible for their own behaviour. The harassment most likely wonít stop if you ignore it; it may actually get worse.
A person who believes she or he is being sexually harassed can take a number of steps. They are progressive and include:
  • Tell the person to stop
    Anyone experiencing sexual harassment should advise the perpetrator that their behaviour is unwelcome, offensive and considered sexual harassment. If the harassment persists, or the person feels uncomfortable approaching the perpetrator, he or she should:

    • Speak to the personís supervisor
      Where the person feels uncomfortable approaching the perpetrator, he or she should take the matter to his or her immediate supervisor. If the immediate supervisor is party to the harassment, then the person complaining should bring the matter to the next level of supervision.

      If you are a member of a bargaining unit, speak with a union representative. Most collective agreements include clauses dealing with sexual harassment and discrimination. As well, labour arbitrators have the authority to interpret and apply human rights legislation in their cases.

    • Make a complaint through your organizationís internal harassment complaint resolution process
      Many organizations have an internal complaint process, whereby employees can make either a formal or informal complaint that will be investigated.

    • Contact the Human Rights Commission or Tribunal

is Key to Preventing
Sexual Harassment

Prevent Sexual Harassment in the Workplace - Video DVD and E-Learning program on preventing sexual harassment in the workplace
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