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Harassment is any form of unwanted conduct related to any of the discriminatory grounds.  Sexual harassment is any form of unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.  Sexual harassment and harassment of an employee (including agency workers or vocational workers) is prohibited in the workplace or in the course of employment by

  1. another employee
  2. the employer
  3. clients, customers or other business contacts of an employer including any other person with whom the employer might reasonably expect the victim to come into contact and the circumstances of the harassment are such that the employer ought reasonably to have taken steps to control it.

The Acts prohibit the victim being treated differently by reason of rejecting or accepting the harassment (or it could reasonably be anticipated that he or she would be so treated).

In A Claimant v. A Company DEC-E2002-014 a manager subjected an employee to repeated hostility and belittling comments, seriously undermining her position in work.  The Claimant was successful in her claim for harassment.

In both cases, it is conduct which has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the person.

The Equality Authority has published a Code of Practice on Sexual Harassment and Harassment at Work, which has been approved by the Minister (S.I. No.78 of 2002). This is available from the Equality Authority.