Prepare to determine, when the allegations fly: Sexual harassment–or just some clueless guy?

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in Discrimination and Harassment,HR Management,Human Resources

When it comes to sexual harassment, the devil is in the details. Asking someone out on a date or making friendly conversation isn’t usually sexual harassment. But telling the difference between what one court recently called a “tone deaf” suitor and a true harasser isn’t easy.

To help, courts have come up with a list of factors employers should consider when trying to determine whether an employee has been sexually harassed at work. They include:

  • The physical environment where the complaining employee works
  • The level of obscenity that fills that environment
  • The nature of the unwelcome sexual words or sexual gestures
  • The frequency of the offensive encounters
  • The severity of the offensive encounters
  • Whether the comments or gestures are physically threatening
  • Whether the offensive conduct unreasonably interfered with the employee’s work
  • Whether the offensive conduct had an effect on the employee’s psychological well-being.

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