Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is any unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature. 

Under the Human Rights Act 1993 and the Employment Relations Act 2000 you can take a personal grievance for sexual harassment.

Under the legislation sexual harassment may include: An employer or employer’s representative making a request, directly or indirectly, of an employee for sexual intercourse, sexual contact, or other form of sexual activity that contains:

  • an implied or overt promise of preferential treatment in that employee’s employment, or
  • an implied or overt threat of detrimental treatment in that employee’s employment, or
  • an implied or overt threat about the employee’s present or future employment status

An employer or employer’s representative using language (written or spoken), visual material or physical behaviour of a sexual nature:

  • that is unwelcome or offensive to that employee (whether or not this is conveyed to the employer or representative), and
  • that is either repeated or is so significant that it has a detrimental effect on the employee’s employment, job performance, or job satisfaction

If you believe you are being sexually harassed in the workplace you need to discuss it first with your employer. We can help you with the procedure from the first step and any grievance raised. We can help you take a case for sexual harassment to the Authority or the Human Rights Commission.

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