Tips to Help Employees Prevent Illegal Harassment
Be professional at all times.

-Consider your attitudes toward harassment with respect to men, women and persons with disabilities or with a different sexual preference, cultural background or religious beliefs. How would you feel if you or a loved one were harassed? What would you do?

-Set a positive example. Treat everybody with respect, and let others know you expect the same from them.

-Be aware of your words and actions¡ªand what is going on around you.

-Think before you make personal comments or ask personal questions. Could the other person feel uncomfortable?

-Don¡¯t go along with the crowd; don¡¯t accept behavior that may be offensive:
¡öHazing; practical jokes; sex, racial, ethnic, religious or disability jokes; friendly
gestures; terms of endearment and the display of sexually explicit graphic materials are not always harmless or inoffensive. Quite often they are not viewed that way. Case law shows that people subjected to those behaviors do not have to develop a thick skin. Sexual harassment depends on adverse effect, not on intent.
¡öMake your feelings known and ask that the offensive behavior be stopped. Talk with coworkers in a friendly but firm manner.
¡öRemember that the party whose behavior is offensive must be told that the behavior is unwelcome. Repeated unwelcome behavior constitutes harassment.
¡öBe supportive of people who are being harassed. Remind them that the behavior is not their fault and they do not have to put up with it. Encourage them to take
action. Discuss the steps to be taken and offer to assist if feasible.
¡öNever ignore offensive behaviors. Harassment of any type does not go away on its own. Do not be afraid to speak up or come forth as a witness¡ªretaliation is

Possible Verbal Harassment:
¡öthreats, insults, intimidation
¡öoffensive or suggestive comments
¡ömessages with derograty racial, ethnic, disability, age, etc., content
¡öoffensive jokes or teasing
¡öwhistles or catcalls

For Example: It could be harassment if somebody keeps telling ethnic jokes, or making offensive comments about a person¡¯s clothing even after somebody has objected. It¡¯s probably not harassment if the person desists.

Possible Nonverbal Harassment:

Body Language
¡öprovocative posturing
¡ödisrespectful or condescending gestures
¡öthreatening or intimidating posturing

¡ödisplaying posters, photos, drawings or caricatures that can be perceived as derogatory or stereotypical

For Example: It could be disability harassment if a person frequently leans over an employee who uses a wheelchair and shakes a finger at them during work-related disagreements.

Possible Physical Harassment
¡öpushing, fingering
¡öcornering or trapping
¡öpatting in a condescending manner
¡öpreventing mobility or invading the mobility space of a person who uses mobility aids
¡ötouching in a manner that threatens or intimidates

For Example: It could be harassment if a person repeatedly pushes, brushes or blocks (without need) the path of a person who is older, a minority, or who has a physical impairment.

Hazing: Typically occurs when women or men are hired in nontraditional jobs.
¡ödamaging personal property in ways that include sexual overtones
¡öusing abusive or derogatory language
¡örequiring initiation rites of a sexual nature to become part of the team
¡öviolence of a sexual nature
¡öreferences or assumptions about the sexual orientation of women or men who choose nontraditional careers

For Example: It could be sexual harassment if an employee often finds his or her equipment defaced with sexual, abusive or derogatory graffiti. This is evidence of sexual
harassment and of a hostile work environment which affects performance.

¡öexclusion, provocation or violence against an employee after he or she objected to offensive behavior or filed a complaint about the behavior

For Example: It could be retaliation if coworkers refuse to share vital job information with an employee who has reported hazing activities. The effect is the undermining of performance and continuation of the hostile work environment.