Sexual harassment is defined by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when.” For example:
- Only hiring someone on the condition (explicit or implicit) that they submit to such conduct
- Managers basing employment decisions on whether that employee submitted or rejected sexual advances
- Such conduct interferes with the individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
Sexual harassment can be physical and psychological in nature. An aggregation of incidents can constitute sexual harassment even if one of the incidents considered on its own would not be harassing.