With the recent focus on the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment, many employees may be questioning their own judgment when it comes to interactions with co-workers. It is not always easy to discern the difference between sincere communication with good intentions, and unlawful sexual harassment.
And no one wants to end up with a sexual harassment lawsuit or accused of sexual misconduct, so a brief refresher is in order.
It is probably not sexual harassment if you ask a colleague out on a date. In fact, a study from the popular job site CareerBuilder found that nearly 40 percent of participants have dated a co-worker, and 31 percent ended up marrying someone with whom they worked.
However, not all employees take no for an answer that easily. Persistent overtures that are obviously unwelcome or cross the line into more serious and threatening behaviors may be sexual discrimination. And that is illegal in the United States.
This discussion focuses on sexual harassment laws in Pennsylvania and practical guidelines to keep your office relationships appropriate and professional.
What Is Considered Sexual Harassment under the Law?
If you have a romantic interest in someone you work with, it is normal to be apprehensive about asking them on a date. With all the talk of workplace harassment in the news lately, you may be questioning what is, and what is not, acceptable behavior.