I am suggesting that one of the moderators of this site (Jane, Enderland...) or another user with the necessary privilege merge these 2 tag under the existing Unprofessional Behavior tag: Harassment and sexual harassment.

I just provided usage guidance for the unprofessional behavior tag as any behavior unbecoming or inappropriate in a professional work place, and cited examples including harassment, the nature of which is immaterial. Sexual harassment and general harassment are specific instances of the parent class "unprofessional behavior".


currently has 13 questions, not all of which are about sexual harassment. (Bullying and alcohol-related issues are also covered.)

currently has 11 questions. Possibly it makes sense to move these into a general harassment tag, though we'd lose the tag wiki that covers sexual harassment specifically. (The general tag has no wiki.)

I do not understand why exists, and had not previously noticed it. The 58 questions with this tag cover a wide range of behaviors, many not involving harassment. Many of them are also tagged . The unprofessional-behavior tag should be merged into professionalism.

  • The problem with putting unprofessional behavior into professionalism is that many questions ask how can I professionally cancel after accepting a job offer. In those cases they are asking how can I quit without people hating me. Sep 27 '15 at 18:57
  • @mhoran_psprep I don't understand your comment. Are you saying that there are some things that are never professional and they should go into an "unprofessional" tag? But the asker (and anybody else coming here for answers) thinks it's professional and he just needs to know how to do it, so why would he look in, or label, his question "unprofessional"? Perhaps I'm missing your point? Sep 27 '15 at 19:22
  • @MonicaCellio As I see it, unprofessional behaviour is usually the OP observing it in others or being treated unprofessionally, whether by colleagues, management or job candidates. Professionalism is the OP asking how to behave in certain scenarios to avoid ending up as the subject of someone else's unprofessional behaviour question. I wouldn't merge any of the tags mentioned in this thread, but questions tagged with both professional tags should probably be cleaned up to only have one.
    – Lilienthal Mod
    Sep 28 '15 at 6:50
  • 1
    @Lilienthal whether the question were asked by the person doing (or considering) the behavior or a critical observer, wouldn't you want the question to have the same tag for findability? If I'm trying to use tags to find relevant questions, shouldn't I find that question no matter who asked it? Sep 29 '15 at 2:46
  • @MonicaCellio No, since the answers to questions of one type won't apply to someone with a question of the other type: I'm either trying to find tips on how to behave professionally in a certain situation, or I'm trying to find a way to stop/discuss/mitigate/accept a colleague's unprofessional behaviour. The strategies or recommendations for each are wildly different. You could argue that dealing with other's unprofessional behaviour is part of being professional yourself but such answers wouldn't be very useful.
    – Lilienthal Mod
    Sep 29 '15 at 10:58
  • 2
    I agree with monica, Unprofessional-behavior is the flip side of the professionalism coin. If professionalism is not an appropriate tag then unprofessional behavior is not either. Sep 29 '15 at 20:06
  • @MonicaCellio I changed my mind and created a separate thread to discuss merging the two.
    – Lilienthal Mod
    Jan 28 '16 at 9:55

I do not think they should be merged.

Unprofessional behavior is everything which can be unintentional for incompetence, bad manners, laziness, acting too emotional, bad circumstances whatever. You cannot say if the behavior is directed against you personally.

  • Not calling back despite promising it
  • Not cleaning up the workplace despite called on it
  • Coming too late
  • Working not enough or trying to pester other members with own tasks
  • Screaming generally at employees as boss

Professional behavior in contrast tries often to handle an unpleasant situation for both parties where both parties are fully aware of the situation. They are not really opposites, so I would not try to merge them.

Harassment in general means behavior which is directed against someone. It is not simply only awkward or repelling, but it actively violates your personal bounds. I am neutral if harassment should be merged with sexual harassment, I can see arguments for and against it. But harassment should IMO remain as a category because we have very likely a total different background situation.

  • Agreed. Unprofessional behavior could be an employee not showering enough, and smelling bad at work. Professionalism could be oriented towards questions where TC is unsure if he/she is behaving appropriately in a scenario where he/she has little experience. Harassment (bullying, enough said), sexual harassment (degrading attractive colleagues, questionable hiring practises, butt-slaps, etc).
    – Cloud
    Sep 28 '15 at 15:09

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