Sexual harassment in the workplace is unpleasant and, unfortunately, all too common occurrence. Many employees, who are friends with their co-workers, often forget that they need to hold themselves to a higher standard of conduct within the confines of a job – even if they are outside of the office. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states in their Sex Discrimination Guidelines that –

“Undesirable sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when  1) submission to such conduct made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, 2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or 3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonable interference with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.”

Sexual harassment is still out there folks. Here are three ways to combat these unprofessional behaviours:

Provide training (ideally for all employees but of course for supervisors) on recognizing and understanding the potential danger to themselves and the organization in sexual harassment. You can also opt for online sexual harassment training via

Additional training on best practices responding to or reporting allegations of sexual abuse may be required (check if your state requires mandatory sexual harassment training).

Create a zero-tolerance sexual harassment policy that is fully supported by top management and employees alike. Make sure that this policy is communicated frequently (at least annually) throughout the organization.

Encourage people who are victims of sexual abuse, both male and female, to come forward and report the incident – the only way to make it stop is to take action.