A clear and all encompassing definition of sexual harassment is difficult as men and women have divergent perceptions about standards of behaviour in the workplace and the wide variety of behaviour that may constitute sexual harassment. However, definitions are important as they serve to educate people, promote discussions and conscious evaluations of experiences.
The Nedlac Code of Good Practice, August 1999, defines sexual harassment as:.
(1) Unwanted conduct of a sexual nature. The unwanted nature of sexual harassment distinguishes it from behaviour that is unwelcome and mutual. .
(2) Sexual attention becomes sexual harassment if, the behaviour is persisted in, although a single incident of harassment can constitute sexual harassment, and/or the recipient has made it clear that the behaviour is considered offensive; and/or the perpetrator should have known that the behaviour is regarded as unacceptable.
A broad definition, such as that issued by the EEOC (Equal Opportunity Commission), in the United States, usually covers two general categories, which are really the opposite sides of a continuum.
QUID PRO QUO SEXUAL HARASSMENT.
Are Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute "quid pro quo" sexual harassment when (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment, (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual. .