The Directive defined harassment as, "[...] unwanted conduct related to the sex of a person occurs with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person, and of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment" (European Parliament, 2002). The purpose of the directive was to protect equal access to employment, education, opportunity, and working conditions.
Individual EU states can pass laws that are more restrictive that the EU standard, but they are required to attain the minimum standard set by Directive 2002/73/EC. Ireland broadly defines harassment as, "spoken words, gestures or the production, display or circulation of written words, pictures or other material which is unwelcome and could reasonably be regarded as offensive, humiliating, or intimidating" (Quinlivan, 2004). Outside the workplace harassment may include threatening telephone calls, bullying, stalking, or instilling fear through intimidation.
According to the US Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, sexual harassment in the workplace in the United States is defined as "Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature [...]" (Sexu