A counselor says workplace harassment continues to be under reported, in part, because people sometimes are unclear as to when collegiality crosses the line.
Cindy Blekaitis, of the Employee Assistance Programme, says co-workers need to be mindful of a colleague’s comfort level.
“It’s about the intention behind it, right? If you wanted to just pay me a compliment and I understand it’s a compliment and I take it as a compliment, then that’s a compliment, but if you say something and the person feels uncomfortable with it and the behaviour continues then that is harassment,” said Employee Assistance Programme, Cindy Blekaitis.
Mrs. Blekaitis says the difference between flirting and harassment is that flirting has two people engaged in compliments, jokes and light touches, while harassment is when a person is repeatedly engaging in verbal or physical actions that make a person feel uncomfortable.