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Knowing when bantering at work has gone too far

On Behalf of | Jul 17, 2019 | Sexual Harassment |

Many workplaces are fun to be at each day, while others are downright boring or unbearable to be at because of the people there. It’s not uncommon for employees to joke around with each other during the day, but when does the joking cross a line? Banter is found in almost every work environment. Today, we will discuss how to know when playful bantering has gone too far.

Some people are comfortable with playful flirting. It happens just about everywhere, including school settings and work settings. But, when does this cross the line? It needs to stop when one of the people involved says ‘stop’ or if others witnessing the interaction say they are uncomfortable.

What about commenting about a co-worker’s appearance, dress, cologne, perfume or other part of their wardrobe? This can be misconstrued as flirting or sexual harassment. Make sure you choose your words wisely. If someone makes these comments to you, don’t reciprocate the sentiment as it might not go well.

It’s also common for people to laugh at dirty jokes or other explicit comments because it helps them deal with an uncomfortable situation. Even if the person joins in on the comments or jokes, it could be a coping mechanism for them and not mean that they are fine with everything that is being said.

Playful bantering at the office is common in many workplaces. Co-workers like to joke, rib and poke fun at each other to make the workday go faster. But, when sexual comments are made, this is when the bantering has gone too far and sexual harassment could be present.

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