Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is unwanted sexual attention or pressure for sex, or an undue focus on a person’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Under the Human Rights Code it is a form of unlawful discrimination.It is conduct which creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or learning environment, and which a reasonable person would know was unacceptable.

It may include:

  • suggestive comments or gestures
  • sexual innuendo or banter
  • leering
  • remarks about someone’s looks, dress or lifestyle
  • pressure for dates
  • insults about someone’s sexual identity or gender expression
  • deliberately mis-gendering someone
  • verbal abuse
  • intrusive personal questions
  • intrusive physical behaviour or contact

where any of these conducts is unwelcome.

Some instances of sexual harassment are very clear, and are intentionally demeaning or discriminatory; others are ambiguous, and may result from thoughtlessness or incomprehension. The Policy requires people to treat one another courteously, fairly, and with respect for individual values and preferences.

Homophobia and Transphobia

The Sexual Harassment Policy covers harassment based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, actual or perceived. For example, if you are harassed because you are a lesbian or a gay man, or because you are transgender, you can use the Policy to seek a remedy.

You can also contact the Sexual and Gender Diversity Office for information and assistance.