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Sexual harassment

GAIHST defines sexual harassment as:

« Sexual harassment is a sexually oriented attention experienced in the workplace that creates discomfort or threatens a person’s well-being or functioning. Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination, an abuse of power and constitutes violence against workers. »

Animation d'attention

It can range from :

leering · patting · touching · verbal comments · jokes · the display of pornographic material as well as any form of sexual violence.

The harasser may be your : 

employer ·  employee · supervisor · co-worker, client or customer · etc.

Notice: According to the Labour Law, the definition of psychological harassment includes sexual harassment in the workplace and harassment based on any of the grounds set out in the Charter of human rights and freedoms: race, colour, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, civil status, age, religion, political convictions, language, ethnic or national origin, social condition, handicap or the use of any means to palliate a handicap.

Non-verbal sexual harassment

  • Exposure of degrading or pornographic material
  • Glances/stares that create discomfort
  • Whistling
  • Licking one’s lips
  • Emails, texts, letters or other writing with a sexual connotation
  • Voyeurism
Image oeil section harcèlement
Image conversation section harcèlement

Verbal sexual harassment

  • Sexist or degrading jokes
  • Comments on a person’s physical appearance
  • Small “affectionate” nicknames
  • Questions regarding someone’s personal life
  • Sexual blackmail
  • Threats to obtain sexual favours

Physical sexual harassmen

  • Repeated rubbing
  • Physical contact of any king (from friendly pats to forced contact)
  • Sexual assault
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What is not sexual harassment at work: behaviours such as friendly flirting, jokes and other actions that are consensual.

Strategies to adopt when you think you are being sexually harassed at work

Notice: This page is only informational; its contents should not in any way be interpreted or considered as a full analysis of the law nor an opinion or a legal opinion of the author towards any specific case, or of one or several points of law mentioned above. Contact the appropriate authorities to get more information and to inquire about your eligibility and conditions that may apply.