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What are common examples of sexual harassment?

Are you unsure if you've been facing sexual harassment in the workplace? It can sometimes be hard to decide if you're dealing with a real issue that breaks the law, and you may not want to move forward until you're sure. Below are some examples of sexual harassment to help you know what you're looking at:

1. Sharing explicit information. This could include pictures or videos, but it could also include notes, email messages, text messages, letters, and the like. If these are explicit or overly suggestive, they could count as harassment.

2. Acting sexually aggressive. This includes making gestures that are clearly sexual in nature or telling offensive sexual jokes -- especially at your expense. It can also be as simple as staring in a lewd manner, cat-calling, whistling and the like.

3. Talking about sexual information. Some informative is very personal. For instance, it could be harassment if a boss continuously asks a worker about his or her sexual history or sexual preferences.

4. Talking about someone in a sexual manner. A co-worker could make inappropriate comments about your body, for instance, or the clothes that you've chosen to wear.

5. Sexual contact. Naturally, the most overt sexual harassment is when it includes physical contact. This can include patting someone, rubbing or brushing against them, pinching them, or any other type of sexual contact.

Do any of those examples sound like what you've been facing in the workplace, creating a hostile work environment? If so, you need to know that this conduct is likely illegal and you may have a right to pursue legal action.

Source: The Balance, "Examples of Sexual and Non-Sexual Harassment," Alison Doyle, accessed Dec. 01, 2016

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