Business crime prevention advice: Sexual harassment

Business crime prevention advice: Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature. This can be physical contact, verbal comments or non-verbal action.

Personal safety

If you are being harassed:

  • Tell the person to stop the behaviour.
  • If you are uncomfortable about doing this yourself, have a colleague with you or ask the colleague to speak to the person privately on your behalf.
  • Express your views by writing a letter to the person, asking for the behaviour to stop. (Suggestion - Ensure your letter is written in a professional tone.) Keep a copy of the letter.
  • If the person harassing you is a co-worker, speak to the person's supervisor.
  • If the person is a customer, consider issuing a trespass notice.

If the behaviour does not stop, other options can be considered:

  • Most unions have policies on sexual harassment and are able to provide assistance to union members.
  • If you have an employment agreement you will find there are grievance provisions which you can take up with your employer. These can be resolved in the Employment Court if satisfaction is not achieved.
  • Seek advice from your union representative, Equal Employment Opportunity liaison officer (if your organisation has one), or from the Human Rights Commission.
  • You can lay a formal complaint with the Human Rights Commission which may then take the case to the Equal Employment Tribunal.
  • If the person being harassed fears for their safety, they should report the harassment to the Police.