Employers have a duty to ensure that their workplace is free from hostility and harassment. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to implement this in practice. For various reasons, hostility and harassment can go unnoticed for extended periods of time.
Not only does a hostile working environment impact the well-being of employees, but it can also potentially decrease the overall productivity of a company. Sexual harassment is one of the more common forms of disparaging behavior in the workplace. Frequently, this can manifest itself blatantly in the form of unwanted physical touching and derogatory remarks. However, at times, sexual harassment can be more subtle.
Outlined below are some of the more subtle signs of sexual harassment.
Online platforms such as social media are playing an increasing role in terms of both people’s employment and personal lives. Sometimes, workers form friendships that transcend out with the workspace. Social media messages, texts and emails may be sent back and forth outside of office hours.
When this is consensual, there is most likely nothing to be concerned about. Nonetheless, such activity can occasionally be one-sided. Where an employee is constantly receiving messages at unsociable hours, without responding, this could be a sign that harassment is taking place.
Employees should not have to face the feeling that they are being followed or constantly observed in either an online or offline environment.
Obsession over a person’s appearance
While compliments may be well-meaning and welcome at times, they can cross the line into becoming sexual harassment.
If someone in the workspace displays an obsession over a person’s physical appearance, it could signal that there is an issue. Workers should not have to put up with inappropriate or derogatory comments about how they look.
It is vital that employees feel safe in their place of work. If you believe that you are being harassed, then it may be in your best interests to explore your legal options.