Flirting with members of the opposite sex happens all the time. It happens in schools, at the bar, at work or over the phone. It’s often something people embrace and enjoy. It can be thrilling, and it’s the way that many relationships progress from just being friends into something more.
The trouble is that the line between flirting with someone and sexually harassing that person is not always quite as clear as people think. One person may just think that they’re flirting with a co-worker and trying to get them interested in a relationship, while the other person may think that they’re being sexually harassed or working in a hostile environment.
How can you know if it’s becoming harassment? Experts point out that you cross that bridge when the flirting is “unwanted and persistent.” If a co-worker begins making these types of advances or asking you out, and you rebuff them and turn down the offer for a date, they cannot continue to pester you or refuse to leave you alone. They may see this as their only option to get you to accept their advances, but they need to know that this behavior is unprofessional and unacceptable. You shouldn’t have to put up with that on a consistent basis, feeling nervous to go into work every day as you wonder what they’re going to say or do around you.
Unfortunately, this type of harassment is very common and many people attempt to act like it’s not a big deal. It is, and you need to know what legal options you have.