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.