Is There A Bright Line Between Salty Jokes And Compliments, And Sexual Harassment?

My new article in Above The Law discusses this very fraught workplace issue – which is not a hypothetical.

It begins:

“We all like to joke, tease, prank, and – face it – it sometimes gets a bit out of control, and the language gets a little ‘salty.’    All in good fun, in the right place and context.

But not in the workplace. Even by the water cooler. …

But is there a bright line to tell us when salty jokes, flirting, or ‘playful teasing crosses into sexual harassment?

And how about a compliment or casual remark such as ‘Hey, I like your dress,’ or ‘You look like you’ve been working out.’

Those bedeviled by this question span the globe; it’s not an issue just in the U.S. It seems that a balance needs to be struck between prohibiting harassment and creating a work environment that may be ‘sterile.’”

Read the entire article here.  Read all of my prior weekly articles here.

Posted in
Richard Cohen

Richard Cohen

Richard B. Cohen is a partner in the New York City office of FisherBroyles, LLP, a national law firm. Richard Cohen has litigated and arbitrated complex corporate, commercial and employment disputes for more than 35 years, and is a trusted advisor to business owners and in-house counsel both in the United States and internationally. His clients have included Fortune 100 companies, domestic and foreign commercial and investment banks, Pacific-rim corporations and real estate development companies, as well as start-up businesses throughout the United States. Email Richard at [email protected]