Sexual Harassment Situations for Discussion

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When Do Seemingly Harmless Actions Cross the Line?

Teasing, hazing, gossip, and retaliation have no place in a professional setting. It is the collective responsibility of everyone, irrespective of their role or rank, to foster a workplace that is free from harassment.

"ENOUGH!" is a powerful program that helps participant to actively shape and sustain a culture of respect within their organizations. This proactive stance is crucial not only for legal compliance and policy adherence but also for the overall success and growth of the organization.

How do you handle persistent unwelcome advances from a manager?

Unwanted advances can create a hostile work environment. Such behavior may also lead to legal consequences for both the individual and the organization.

Just Asking...

Summary: A manager repeatedly asks an employee out despite his clear refusal. The employee feels uncomfortable and is concerned about potential workplace difficulties.

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Is it illegal to promise job promotions in return for sexual favors?

This could be seen as quid pro quo sexual harassment, which is against the law. Such conduct is not only unethical but also exposes the manager or supervisor to potential legal action. It's important that these issues are addressed promptly to maintain a fair and safe workplace.

Scratch My Back...

Summary: A manager appears to offer promotions in exchange for sexual favors. Chelsey rejects the offer and is denied a promotion, while a co-worker accepts and is promoted.

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How do you respond to inappropriate workplace behavior?

Unwanted physical actions at the workplace are inappropriate and should be avoided. One should maintain professional boundaries and choose appropriate ways to interact with the team.

Way To Go Team...

Summary: A team celebrates achieving their performance goals. However, the manager's attempt to casually include colleagues in the celebration by slapping them on the backside was inappropriate and made them feel uneasy.

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Scenarios Covered

  • Subtle Inappropriate Comments
  • Customer Harassment
  • Misuse of Social Media
  • Repeated Unwanted Advances
  • Personal Life Teasing
  • Inappropriate Attention and Texts
  • Promotion for Favors
  • Sexual Jokes
  • Cross-Gender Misconduct
  • Personal Jokes and Discomfort
  • Inappropriate Physical Contact

Key Benefits for Trainees

  • Legal Knowledge and Compliance: Education on anti-harassment laws and organizational policies, ensuring understanding of the legal implications and responsibilities.
  • Awareness and Recognition: Learn to identify subtle and overt forms of sexual harassment and improve the ability to recognize inappropriate behavior in various contexts.
  • Improved Workplace Culture: Create a more respectful and inclusive work environment by contributing to a positive workplace culture.
  • Empowerment and Confidence: Gain the confidence to speak up and intervene when witnessing inappropriate behavior, knowing how to effectively address and report such incidents.
  • Risk Mitigation for the Organization: Reduce the risk of legal actions, financial costs, and reputational damage to the organization.
  • Accountability: The realistic scenarios and discussions encourage long-term behavioral change, making employees more accountable for their actions and interactions.
  • Supportive Environment: The program promotes a supportive workplace where employees feel safe, valued, and respected, enhancing overall employee well-being and job satisfaction.

Competencies Covered

  • Recognition of Harassment: Develop the ability to identify both overt and subtle forms of sexual harassment.
  • Legal and Ethical Understanding: Gain knowledge of the legal aspects of sexual harassment and the ethical considerations in the workplace.
  • Effective Communication: Enhance the ability to communicate concerns and report incidents of harassment clearly and effectively.
  • Bystander Intervention: Learn how to intervene in situations of harassment, providing support to colleagues and addressing issues promptly.
  • Empathy and Support: Foster empathy, enabling trainees to provide support to those affected by harassment.
  • Problem-Solving Skills: Learn to navigate complex situations involving harassment and find appropriate solutions.
  • Leadership in Action: The program will empower trainees to take leadership roles in preventing harassment and promoting a respectful workplace culture.
  • Policy Application: Trainees will be equipped to apply company policies and procedures related to harassment in practical scenarios.
  • Cultural Competence: Address harassment across diverse cultures and genders, promoting inclusivity.
  • Coping Strategies: Learn strategies to cope with the personal impact of harassment and maintain professional resilience.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can subtle comments or body language be considered sexual harassment?

They can imply sexual intent and make employees uncomfortable, which may qualify as sexual harassment if it's part of a pattern of behavior that creates a hostile environment.

What steps can an employee take if a customer makes physical and/or verbal advances?

The employee should inform their supervisor and HR immediately, and the company should address the customer's behavior to ensure the employee's safety and well-being.

What actions should be taken if an employee shares an improper photo of a coworker online?

The incident should be reported to HR, and the offending employee should face disciplinary action. The company should also provide support to the affected coworker.

How can an employee handle repeated unwanted advances from a superior?

The employee should document each incident and report them to HR. The company must investigate and take appropriate actions to stop the harassment and protect the employee.

 What should a coworker do if they witness inappropriate jokes about a colleague's personal life?

The coworker should intervene if they feel safe doing so and report the behavior to HR to prevent further inappropriate comments.

 How should an employee react if a manager offers a promotion in return for sexual favors?

The employee should report the incident to HR immediately, as this is a clear case of quid pro quo sexual harassment and is illegal.

What steps should be taken if an employee takes an inappropriate photo and threatens to share it?

The incident should be reported to HR, and the company should take swift disciplinary action against the employee to prevent the photo from being shared and protect the victim.

How can an organization address constant sexually charged jokes made by a coworker?

The organization should implement a clear anti-harassment policy, provide training, and take disciplinary action against employees who make such jokes. Employees should be encouraged to report inappropriate behavior immediately.

 What constitutes a hostile work environment?

A hostile work environment is created when unwelcome conduct, such as persistent sexual jokes or physical advances, interferes with an employee's work performance or creates an intimidating atmosphere.

What if I don't have a training program for workplace harassment prevention in place?

Here are some of the risks that may arise:

  • Increased Risk of Legal Liability: You may inadvertently engage in or fail to recognize behaviors that constitute sexual harassment, leading to potential lawsuits and legal consequences for both you and the organization.
  • Damage to Professional Reputation: Failure to understand and adhere to proper conduct standards can harm your reputation among colleagues and within the industry, affecting future career opportunities.
  • Hostile Work Environment: Lack of awareness and understanding can contribute to a hostile work environment, decreasing overall workplace morale and productivity.
  • Reduced Ability to Support Colleagues: You may lack the knowledge to effectively support and intervene when witnessing harassment, diminishing your role as a supportive team member.
  • Missed Opportunities for Professional Development: The training provides valuable skills in communication, conflict resolution, and empathy, which are essential for professional growth and leadership roles.
  • Potential Disciplinary Action: Failing to comply with mandatory training requirements can result in disciplinary action from the organization, including warnings, suspension, or even termination.
  • Negative Impact on Organizational Culture: You may hinder the organization's efforts to foster a respectful and inclusive workplace culture, negatively affecting team dynamics and overall job satisfaction.
what will happen

Program Options & Available Formats


Streaming Video

Interactive eLearning


Library License

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Video Length: 23 Minutes
Program Option: 2-Hour Instructor-Led Sessions


Leader's Guide, Self-Study Guide, Workshop Presentation, Workplace Violence Prevention Plan


English, Spanish (NA),
Portuguese (Brazilian)


Hiring Managers & Supervisors, Human Resource Professionals

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