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What is sexual harassment?

Defining sexual harassment in California may seem simple on the surface, but it actually is a complex topic. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, sexual harassment typically interferes with your ability to work or creates a hostile environment where you feel uncomfortable. There are many actions that could fall under this umbrella definition, but generally, the harassment will in some way relate to the gender of the people involved or be of a sexual nature.

It is important to note in any case of sexual harassment, you must make it clear the harassment is not acceptable. You should tell the person committing the actions you do not like it and will not tolerate it. You should also use any employer provided services to file the proper complaint or notify your superiors of the incident.

Some other important points to note are that this type of harassment can be done by anyone, male or female, in any position. For example, it could be a co-worker, your boss or a vendor who just comes to your workplace on occasion. It can also be done against anyone, regardless of whether they are the same sex as the person committing the actions or not. It also does not have to be directed towards you. For example, if a co-worker sent another co-worker a sexually explicit cartoon and you were exposed to the cartoon and felt harassed by it, then it can still be considered sexual harassment. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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