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What is gender-based harassment?

No matter where you work in Missouri, it is important to understand the rules that govern workplace behavior. With this information, you may ensure you act appropriately at the office and also know what to do if you experience some form of harassment at work. One issue you may not hear about often is gender-based harassment. This form of sexual harassment may not involve explicit sexual behavior, but it is still unethical and may violate certain workplace laws.

You may get more information on workplace discrimination and harassment from the Missouri Department of Labor. While the term "sexual harassment" usually refers to sexual advances, physical contact or violence, gender-based harassment covers other behaviors. If you hear slurs about males or females or experience negative stereotyping of your gender, it may be gender-based harassment. Other common examples of this type of behavior include denigrating language and epithets relating to gender.

Verbal language is a common medium for gender-based harassment, but sometimes there is also written material. You may read jokes or emails relating to your gender that are insulting or negative. In some cases, this sort of harassment may create a hostile or abusive working environment. If you experience this type of harassment, you may report it to your employer's human resources department and/or file an official complaint with the state government. An employer or government organization may consider the severity and frequency of the harassment to determine if the situation counts as a hostile work environment and/or violates any labor laws.

This information about gender-based harassment is intended for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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