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How to Address Inappropriate and Unwanted Touching in the Workplace

Author: Beth Zoller, XpertHR Legal Editor

When it comes to physical contact in the workplace, whether it is a handshake, pat on the back, or a congratulatory or consoling hug, employees may have different perceptions of what is appropriate. Some individuals may be very open, affectionate and friendly with co-workers and not think twice about being on the giving end or receiving end of such physical gestures. Others may be more closed off, feeling threatened, humiliated or offended by physical contact, and preferring to keep a good deal of physical space in between them and their co-workers. Employers should ensure that employees know the proper boundaries and the difference between appropriate and inappropriate workplace conduct. This How To assists employers who are looking to avoid instances of inappropriate, improper and unwanted touching in the workplace.