Sexual Harassment Should Never Be Part of Your Job Description

Has anyone in your workplace, a co-worker, supervisor or customer, ever made you feel uncomfortable at work by a sexual comment, a look, an unwanted touch? If so, you are not alone. Sexual harassment at work is an extremely common experience and can be emotionally and financially devastating to those who experience it.

Sexual harassment, by definition, is unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature. It can be a look, a comment, a joke, a touch or criminal behaviours such as being stalked, flashed or mooned, having your clothing pulled down or off, unwanted kissing and groping or even rape.

Many victims of sexual harassment do not report it to management or police. There are many different reasons for not reporting including fear of being labelled as oversensitive and not taken seriously by their co-workers and managers, or that there will be retribution from the harasser or the management leading to the victim losing her/his job.

Any form of sexual harassment at work is against the law. Employers are required to ensure that your workplace is safe which includes being free from sexual harassment. Regardless who the perpetrator is, your employer must investigate all complaints of sexual harassment brought to their attention and take effective action to prevent any further incidents. Sexual harassment should never be part of your job description.

If you are or have experienced sexual harassment there may be legal remedies available to you. The Legal Clinic and other community legal clinics throughout Ontario can provide you with information and referrals at no cost to you. For more information please contact Anne-Marie Langan at 613-264-7153 or by email at