In brief

Definition of ‘Sexual Harassment’ 

a) When your colleague does not consent to your touches such as holding a colleague’s waist or hand or thighs. 

b) Stalking your coworker in the carpark.

c) Continue to persuade your coworker to go on a date with you despite several rejections. 

Who may file a sexual harassment complaint?

a) Sexual coercion occurs when a sexual harassment act or behaviour has a direct impact on the victim’s work. A situation where a superior threatens to deprive a subordinate of employment benefits if the subordinate refuses the superior’s request for a date is an example of sexual coercion. 

Q. My boss has been harassing me to go on a date with him after work, threatening to deny me a promotion if I don’t. Is this seen as a kind of sexual harassment? 

A. Yes, the scenario stated above obviously qualifies as sexual harassment. This scenario may be seen on social media or elsewhere almost every day, when employees are harassed by their employers at work, and some have even been threatened by them. For example, if your employer has been persistently embarrassing and disrupting your workplace with his sexual jokes, or if he has repeatedly asked you to go on dates with him despite your repeated rejections.

b) Sexual annoyance occurs where the sexually-related conduct is offensive, hostile and/or intimidating to the recipient, but nonetheless has no direct link to any job benefits. This definition also extends to sexually-related conduct by the company’s clients towards employees. An example of sexual annoyance includes a situation where a colleague constantly makes suggestive and offensive sexual remarks to another colleague of similar rank.

How will allegations of sexual harassment be handled? 

Q. What actions will be taken if my employer believes that sexual harassment has been proven?

A. Here’s some good news: if the harasser is found guilty by their employer, he will be fired without notice, demoted, or subjected to a lower punishment than those listed above, as the employer judges reasonable and appropriate, or suspended without pay for a term of no more than two weeks.