Harassment can be physical, verbal or non-verbal and a wide range of different types of behaviour at work may potentially be perceived as harassment. This blog gives some examples of behaviour that could be perceived as harassment.
- Telling jokes about women
- Making derogatory sexist remarks
- The display of sexually explicit material on computer screens or in calendars
- Leering at a woman in a manner that is overtly sexual
- Physically touching someone in a sexual manner where such conduct is not welcome
- Remarks, banter or jokes of a sexual nature
- Making sexual suggestions or persisting with sexual advances after it has been made clear that such approaches are unwelcome.
- Calling someone a nickname linked to his or her skin colour or nationality
- Remarks, banter or jokes about people from different racial backgrounds.
- Using insulting terminology when referring to a disabled colleague
- Excessive staring, for example at someone with a facial disfigurement
- Mimicking a disabled colleague’s mannerisms or speech.
- Remarks, banter or jokes about particular religious beliefs or religious practices
- Derogatory remarks made about a particular item of clothing or jewellery worn by someone as a symbol of his or her religion.
Sexual orientation harassment:
- Deliberate isolation of someone on grounds of his or her sexuality or perceived sexuality
- Deliberately behaving in an effeminate manner in the presence of someone who is gay
- Calling someone a nickname based on his or her sexuality or perceived sexuality.
- Banter and jokes that make fun of older people or demean their abilities
- Calling someone a name linked to his or her age
- Ignoring someone, or treating his or her views as worthless, just because he or she is younger or older than other employees.
Guarding against offensive jokes, banter and remarks
General banter linked to sex, race, religion, sexual orientation or age is the most common form of harassment in employment. You should make sure that you properly brief all your staff as to the types of conduct and speech that might cause offence to others and make it clear that such behaviour will be unacceptable.
If you’re concerned about harassment within your company – and you need someone to speak to about it, call me now on 0118 940 3032 or click here to email me.