Thursday, February 23, 2012

Understanding Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

What is it?



Generally, there are two established, legally prohibited types of sexual harassment:
Quid pro quo: Compliance or noncompliance with a sexual demand is used as the basis of an employment decision.
Hostile work environment: An employee is subject to unwelcome verbal or physical sexual behavior, including requests for sexual favors and other conduct of a sexual nature that is either so severe or pervasive that it adversely affects her or his ability to do work.

Sexual harassment includes offensive or pervasive conduct in the workplace related to a person’s sex that negatively affects a reasonable person’s employment. Unfortunately, sexual harassment is common in workplaces throughout the United States.

Facts:
  • Sexual harassment includes verbal, nonverbal, and physical behavior.
  • Unwanted and unwelcome lewd jokesgender-based slurs, and sexual contact all represent examples of sexual harassment.
  • Behavior that creates a sexually hostile learning or working environmentis also sexual harassment.
  • Sexual harassment can occur between people of the same sex.
  • Whether the harassment occurs between a man and a women or people of the same sex, it’s still against the lawOncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc., 523 U.S. 75 (1998)
  • The victim of sexual harassment does not have to be the person directly harassed but could be anyone affected by the offensive conduct. (EEOC)


1 comment:

Alana Gorecki said...

This portion should be made clear: Sexual harassment is not only limited to physical touch or demands for sexual favors. It also includes any lewd words uttered that place the employee under an offensive and hostile condition. Sadly, not all victims file complaints due to fear of losing their jobs. Employees should be encouraged to file complaints or cases in court. Otherwise, the essence of this law will become useless or negated.


Alana Gorecki