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Human Resources

Human Resources

Hostile environment

Where verbal, visual or physical behavior in the workplace: 1) focuses on the sexuality of another person or occurs because of the person's gender; 2) is unwanted or unwelcome; and 3) is severe or pervasive enough to affect the person's work environment.

The following are examples of behaviors that can create a hostile environment if they are unwanted and uninvited:

  • Off-color jokes or teasing
  • Comments about body parts or sex life, sexual orientation
  • Sexual innuendoes
  • Use of profanity
  • Repeated requests for dates
  • Excessive attention in the form of love letters, telephone calls or gifts
  • Suggestive pictures, posters, calendars or cartoons
  • Offensive emails, screen savers, computer material
  • Leering, stares or gestures
  • Invading another person's "space"
  • Touching-brushes, pats, hugs, shoulder/back rubs or pinches