Sexual harassment in employment is unwelcome conduct that is related to a person’s protected characteristic and has a detrimental effect on a complainant’s work environment or leads to adverse job consequences for the complainant: Janzen v. Platy Enterprises Ltd., 1989 CanLII 97 (SCC). Sexual harassment is primarily about power imbalance/abuse of power as opposed to actual sexuality. As a result, not every case of sexual harassment necessarily involves explicit sexual demands or invitations for a sexual relationship with the perpetrator. Actions and comments that are more subtle may be just as demeaning in their attack on the target’s dignity and self-respect, both as an employee and as a human being.
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