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Equal Opportunity Programs
1600 Hampton Street
Suite 805
University of South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina 29208

Phone: 803-777-3854
Fax: 803-777-2296
TDD: 803-777-5608

True or False:

Could The Action Constitute Sexual Harassment?

It is not easy to define sexual harassment and what constitutes an act of sexual harassment.  In fact the issue of harassing behavior is often very personal: what offends one person may not offend another. It is therefore important for managers to understand what actions constitute sexual harassment.  In response to the question, “Could the action constitute sexual harassment?” select either yes(Y) or no(N) for each item below. 

1.  An employee files a complaint of sexual harassment but no physical act was involved.

2.  You receive a complaint about a suggestive or sexist cartoon hanging over an employee’s desk.

3.  An employee complains about the fact that a fellow employee is ignoring him or her.

4.  Questionable or harassing behavior of a sexual nature by someone who is not employed by your organization.

5.  The act of one employee merely staring at another employee.

6.  Fellow employees engaged in the telling of dirty jokes or jokes with sexual innuendoes.

7.  Uninvited touching of one employee by another.

8.  An employee who was involved in an office romance receives a promotion.

9.  You failed to promote an employee because he/she will not date you.

10. You invited a subordinate to go out on a date even though he/she has refused to go out with you in the past.

Adapted from Sexual harassment In the Workplace: A Guide To Prevention, Juliana Lightle, Ph.D. and Elizabeth H. Doucet, Esq.  Crisp Publications, Inc. Menlo Park, California

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