Can a compliment be sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is a complex subject. What one person may see as harassment, another may not. However, what really matters is that everyone is comfortable with a situation. If even one person feels uncomfortable or upset, then it could be seen as harassment, which is illegal in every Missouri workplace.

This concept gets complicated because as society has changed, so have the rules about what can and cannot be said. Laws have been created to help draw the line. One area where the most confusion seems to occur is between compliments and sexual harassment.

As explained by Bustle, compliments can easily turn into sexual harassment or be seen as harassment. A compliment by definition is something you see as flattering when you are on the receiving end. It is nice and socially acceptable. It is also done in a respectful manner. Harassment, on the other hand, is not respectful, often demeans you and makes you feel uncomfortable or upset.

By looking at these basic definitions, it becomes easier to draw that distinction between a compliment and harassment. However, there may still be times when you feel something meant as a compliment is harassing. The person giving your the compliment may not be aware it makes you feel that way, so always speak up. If the person is legitimately not trying to harass you, he or she will usually apologize and not do it again. If the person ignores your request and continues, then it turns into a sexual harassment situation. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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