There are two types of sexual harassment. The first one is called Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment. Quid pro quo sexual harassment is when the terms and conditions of the employment depend on the acceptance of sexual requests. A clear example of this is if your supervisor demands sexual favors in exchange for keeping your job.
Another type of sexual harassment is called Hostile Work Environment. A hostile work environment harassment is where remark or conduct is “severe or pervasive” enough to create a hostile or abusive work environment.
For example, touching or constantly staring at a woman’s particular body part, or even making a sexual joke can all be considered to create a hostile work environment if they are severe or pervasive. Any actions or words that may cause a woman to feel offensive, shame or discomfort can give rise to a hostile work environment claim.
Often times, these conducts or words are done with no evil intent. Often times, many people may say or do these things as a joke, because they think they are close to a person or because they want to become closer to a person. However, it is important to keep in mind that these jokes can have serious legal consequences and it is important for a company to provide periodic trainings to all employees on what constitutes sexual harassment since companies may be liable for the conducts of their employees.