Sexual Harassment in the Workplace – What Can You Do?

Written by on March 24, 2023 in Employment Law Blog, Employment Law Issues
Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a serious issue that can affect employees’ well-being, job performance, overall job satisfaction, and work environment.

An employer must take this issue seriously and take steps to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination that occurs when an individual is subjected to unwelcome sexual conduct, comments, or advances. It can be physical, verbal, or visual in nature and can occur in various settings, including the workplace. Sexual harassment is prohibited by law, and employers have a legal obligation to provide a safe and harassment-free work environment.

What are the Types of Sexual Harassment?

There are two types of sexual harassment: quid pro quo and hostile work environment.

Quid pro quo harassment occurs when an individual in a position of authority makes employment decisions based on the acceptance or rejection of sexual advances. For example, an employer may offer an employee a promotion in exchange for sexual favours.

Hostile work environment harassment occurs when an employee is subjected to unwelcome sexual conduct, comments, or advances that create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. For example, a co-worker may make inappropriate sexual comments or jokes, display sexually suggestive images or materials, or engage in unwanted physical contact.

What Can Employers Do?

Employers are legally obligated to provide a safe and harassment-free work environment for their employees. Here are some steps employers can take to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace:

1. Implement a clear sexual harassment policy

Employers should have a written sexual harassment policy that outlines what constitutes sexual harassment and how it will be addressed. The policy should be communicated to all employees, and they should be trained on recognizing and reporting sexual harassment.

2. Provide training to employees

Employers should provide sexual harassment training to all employees. The training should include what sexual harassment is, how to recognize it, and how to report it. In addition, employees should be trained on the company’s sexual harassment policy and how to file a complaint.

3. Respond promptly to complaints

Employers should have a process in place for handling complaints of sexual harassment. Complaints should be taken seriously, investigated promptly, and kept confidential to the extent possible. Therefore, employers should take appropriate disciplinary action against employees found to have engaged in sexual harassment.

What Can Employees Do?

If you experience sexual harassment in the workplace, here are some steps you can take:

1. Report the harassment

Report the harassment to your supervisor or HR representative as soon as possible. If your supervisor is the one engaging in the harassment, report it to someone else in the company.

2. Keep a record

Keep a record of the harassment, including the date, time, location, and what was said or done. In addition, keep any emails or other documentation related to the harassment.

3. Seek support

Seek support from friends, family, or a therapist. Consider speaking with an experienced employment lawyer to understand your legal rights and options.


Sexual harassment in the workplace is a serious issue that can significantly impact employees’ well-being and job performance. Employers have a legal obligation to provide a safe and harassment-free work environment, and employees have a responsibility to report sexual harassment if they experience it. By taking steps to prevent sexual harassment and responding promptly to complaints, employers can help create a safe and respectful workplace for all employees.

Contact Minken Employment Law Today

Are you an employer seeking advice on sexual harassment policies in the workplace? If so, contact us today to speak to an experienced employment lawyer. We can be reached at: 905-477-7011 | Toll-Free: 1-866-477-7011 | contact@minken.com.

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Please note that this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

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