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About Abuse

In the Workplace

Updated: March 29, 2021

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is defined by the Employment Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that in a direct or indirect way does one of the following:

  • affects your employment;
  • unreasonably interferes with your performance at work; or
  • creates a work environment that is intimidating, offensive, or hostile.1

Here are a few possible examples that may be considered sexual harassment:

  • A supervisor makes sexual advances towards you at work against your will. You are afraid to say anything because you are scared of losing your job.
  • You feel scared and upset at work because your co-workers are always staring at your breasts, telling dirty jokes, and saying sexual things about you. You have reported it to your supervisor but nothing is done about it. Your supervisor allows the behavior to continue.

1 See U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) website