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5. What is harassment?

5.1 Harassment can be defined as "unwanted conduct affecting the dignity of men and women in the workplace". This can include unwelcome physical, verbal or non verbal conduct, including bullying. There may be an isolated incident or repeated action. Harassment can be related to someone's appearance or caused by someone simply taking a personal dislike to a colleague. It may be related to age, sex, race, disability, religion, sexuality, nationality or any other personal characteristic of the individual.

5.2 The key is that the actions or comments are viewed as demeaning and unacceptable to the recipient. Types of harassment include destructive innuendo and sarcasm, conduct of a sexual nature, racial harassment and ageism. Harassment of individuals who have disabilities or long term illnesses may be based on lack of understanding or it may be intentional.

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