Sexual Harassment

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment occurs when a person makes an unwelcome sexual advance, or an unwelcome request for sexual favours, to another person, or engages in any other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature in relation to another person, in circumstances in which a reasonable person, having regard to all the circumstances, would have anticipated that the other person would be offended, humiliated or intimidated.

Conduct of a sexual nature includes subjecting a person to any act of physical intimacy, making, orally or in writing, any remark or statement with sexual connotations to a person or about a person in his or her presence or making any gesture, action or comment of a sexual nature in a person’s presence.

Sexual harassment can also constitute a form of workplace bullying and unlawful discrimination.

What can I do about sexual harassment?

There are many different ways to make a claim for sexual harassment in Australia. An employee often has the option of making a claim under Victorian anti-discrimination legislation to the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission or, alternatively, under Commonwealth legislation to the Australian Human Rights Commission. You may also be able to make a general protections or anti-bullying application to the Fair Work Commission.

The lawyers at Jewell Hancock Employment Lawyers have successfully made dozens of sexual harassment claims over the years. Given the competing jurisdictions, it is always best to obtain sound legal advice before making any claim. Unfortunately it is not always possible to discontinue a claim made in the wrong jurisdiction and file a new claim in the correct one. For further information about the most appropriate claim to make, please get in touch.

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