There is no comprehensive list of conduct that constitutes sexual harassment. It can be sexual in nature or involve making offensive comments about a person’s sex – for example, making disparaging comments about women in general to a female employee. Generally speaking, in order to rise to the level of harassment, conduct must fit into one of the following categories:
- The conduct affects a person’s employment, such as making employment conditional on the existence of a sexual relationship
- The conduct is frequent and severe enough that it results in a hostile work environment
Importantly, the law does not prohibit isolated incidents, teasing, or offensive comments that are not part of a larger pattern, so not every instance of offensive conduct related to sex will give rise to a sexual harassment claim. Furthermore, it is critical to understand that sexual harassment is just one form of sexual discrimination, so it is important for anyone who has been singled out because of their sex to speak to an attorney about their case.