Workplace Sexual Harassment

Workplace Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment at work is not only wrong, it is illegal.

Federal law defines two types of sexual harassment in the workplace.

  1. Quid Pro: refers to promises or threats made by an employer/decision maker, based on sexual favors.
  2. Hostile Environment: refers to creates an unpleasant or hostile work environment created due to sexual harassment.

Employers must define and discourage sexual harassment, as well as put counter workplace sexual harassment procedures in place. It has been observed that mandatory training programs and zero tolerance standards can reduce incidents of sexual harassment.Employers are also responsible for the type of behavior tolerated at work.

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment includes any unwanted verbal, physical, or visual sexual misconduct. Here are some examples of behaviors that constitute sexual harassment –

  • Inappropriate touching
  • Sexual bullying
  • Sexual confiding
  • Stalking
  • Making offensive sexual comments or unwelcome sexual comments, even without harassing requests
  • Hanging any signs showing pornography or containing obscenities in the workplace
  • Ignoring or not responding to a sexual harassment complaint made by an employee
  • Groping
  • Discrimination against female employees on the basis of pregnancy or the likelihood of pregnancy

In addition, if sexual harassment results in a job loss, the employee may be able to pursue a wrongful termination claim.

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