What are some examples of hostile environment harassment?
Actions and words that may create sexual hostile environment harassment are only limited by the sick imagination of the harasser, including:
- Staring in a sexually suggestive manner,
- Making offensive remarks about looks, clothing or the employee’s body,
- Inappropriate physical touching that make an employee feel uncomfortable, such as patting, pinching or intentional brushing against another’s body,
- Sexual or lewd jokes, inappropriate pictures, posters and gestures, and
- Sending, forwarding or soliciting sexually suggestive letters, notes, emails or images.
Other actions which may result in hostile environment harassment, not based on sex, include:
- Use of derogatory words, phrases, epithets,
- Use of emails, gestures, pictures or drawings which would offend a particular group,
- Comments about an individual’s skin color or other characteristics,
- Making disparaging remarks about an individual,
- Negative comments about an employee’s religious beliefs (or absence of religious beliefs),
- Negative, stereotyping comments regarding an employee’s protected basis, and
- Derogatory or intimidating references to an employee’s mental or physical impairment.