If you're not sure of how to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace, don't worry.
Below, the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service outlines how the Code of Good Practice on the Handling of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace wants you to handle the matter.
The litmus test: Four essential questions you need to ask about sexual harassment
Question #1: Is the harassment on a prohibited ground?
Sexual harassment in the workplace is a form of unfair discrimination. It's prohibited on the grounds of:
Keep in mind that same-sex harassment can amount to discrimination on the basis of sex, gender and sexual orientation.
Question #2: Was the conduct unwelcome?
The Code indicates that an employee may indicate that sexual conduct is unwelcome in different ways. This includes non-verbal conduct such as walking away or not responding to the perpetrator.
The harassment may, however, consist of a single incident and there may be no opportunity to communicate that the conduct is unwelcome.
In this situation, the test will be do determine whether the perpetrator should reasonably have known that the conduct would be unwelcome.
Here's a checklist of how to prove if sexual conduct was unwelcome
To determine whether the conduct was unwelcome, the following four factors may be relevant, says the Loose Leaf Service.
Question #3: What is the nature and extent of the conduct?
The unwelcome conduct must be of a sexual nature and includes physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct.
Question #4: What's the impact of the sexual conduct on the victim?
The conduct must constitute an impairment of the employee's dignity. This means you must take into account:
If you find yourself dealing with a sexual harassment case in your workplace, these are the questions you should find answers to. They'll help you handle the matter efficiently.