Define intimidating work environment
At the national level, the United Sates was one of the first countries to define sexual harassment, as a prohibited form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, a federal law.
The Canadian Human Rights Act does not precisely define sexual harassment, but the Canadian Labor Code defines it explicitly as any conduct, comment, gesture or contact of a sexual nature that (a) is likely to cause offence or humiliation to any employee; and (b) that might, on reasonable grounds, be perceived by that employee as placing a condition of a sexual nature on employment or on a opportunity for training or promotion.
In such cases, it is sufficient for a legal claim if the victim has expressed objection through body language, meaning that a verbal objection is not necessary.
The Human Rights Commission of British Colombia, Canada has created a manual, Preventing Harassment in the Workplace, which provides detailed information on the obligations of employers as well as the evidence an employee must submit to make a claim of sexual harassment.
It is important to understand that the intent of a persons behavior, whether the behavior is face-to-face or behind another employees back may be irrelevant in determining whether or not a behavior is sexual harassment.
What matters is the impact of the behavior on the work environment.
overt sexual solicitation) or the behavior occurs because of the sex of the intended victim (e.g.an offensive joke does not refer to sex, but the joke is played to embarrass the person because she is a woman).It is important to note that persons in position of power within the workplace, such as supervisors and employers, must ensure that any social contact between employees is consensual and welcome.Therefore, behavior which may appear relatively innocent (such as joking, innuendoes, flirting and asking someone on a date) to behavior which is blatantly illegal (such as forced fondling, attempted or actual rape and sexual assault) can all constitute conduct of a sexual nature.In order to qualify as sexual harassment the behavior must be deliberate and/or repeated.
The International Labor Organization (ILO) is a specialized United Nations agency that has addressed sexual harassment as a prohibited form of sex discrimination under the Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention (No. The ILO has made clear that sexual harassment is more than a problem of safety and health, and unacceptable working conditions, but is also a form of violence (primarily against women).