Banter and joking around can be a healthy form of interaction in the workplace. It is natural to want to have good relationships with our coworkers, and often we relate to people in a more familiar way when we can share a joke with them. However, there is a very fine line between a friendly joke and a lewd one that is very inappropriate.
If you have been offended by a sexually inappropriate joke that was made in your workplace, it can be difficult to know how to react. You may wonder if you are overreacting by making a complaint about it. However, the law states that if any behavior was enough to have created a hostile environment in the workplace, then it is enough to constitute sexual harassment.
Things to consider after experiencing inappropriate sexual jokes in the workplace
First of all, jokes are relevant to the context in which they are being told. The office or any working environment is never an appropriate place in which to tell a sexual joke.
Sometimes, an honest mistake is made, and after speaking with the person that made the joke you realize that he or she is embarrassed and ashamed to have caused offense, because they never intended to.
However, others may repeatedly make inappropriate jokes or comments that undermine people and make them feel vulnerable or uncomfortable. All workers have the right to report sexual harassment in the workplace without any fear of whistleblower retaliation. Therefore, it is important that you stand up for your right to a workplace free from sexual harassment.