Pendlebury Workplace Law is a specialist workplace relations and employment law legal practice based in Sydney.
Sexual harassment is unwelcome, unsolicited and unwanted sexual behaviour that offends, humiliates, embarrasses, intimidates or otherwise causes distress. Sexual harassment is illegal under state and commonwealth anti-discrimination legislation. Sexual harassment can be very damaging, both to the individual and to the employer. We provide advice as to what types of behaviour could be deemed to be sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment is damaging to the person who is harassed because it may:
create very high stress levels
affect their mental and physical health
affect their work performance, even to the extent that they may lose their jobs, cause them to transfer or resign to avoid the harassment
Sexual harassment is damaging to the employer’s business because:
it may result in absenteeism, low morale, and a breakdown in communications and trust between staff and management
it may result in the loss of valuable staff
there may be industrial action if a union has to become involved
it will damage the reputation of the business
it is very expensive to resolve problems related to sexual harassment.
Costs may include sick leave, the time taken to investigate complaints, the costs of recruiting and training replacement staff, preparation of legal cases and financial compensation to the complainant.