Sexual harassment is prohibited in the workplace under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The majority of Americans are aware that sexual harassment is illegal, yet they may not be able to describe what constitutes sexual harassment.
At PLBSH we urge you to keep reading so that you know exactly what sexual harassment is. If you require help from an experienced employment law attorney, call us at (800) 435-7542 for a consultation.
Sexual harassment defined
Sexual harassment can take many forms, as any experienced employment law expert can explain. Sexual harassment, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), is unsolicited sexual approaches, demands for sexual favors, and other sexually related verbal or physical actions when:
- Submission to or rejection of the conduct is a foundation for employment choices
- Submission to or rejection of the conduct is a requirement or condition of an individual’s employment, either tacitly or explicitly
- Sexual conduct has the aim or effect of obstructing job performance in an unreasonable way
- Sexual behavior in the workplace may be intimidating, aggressive, or even insulting
Importantly, the behavior must be undesirable, that is, it must be disliked. It is undesired — and may be called sexual harassment — if the victim does not want sexual approaches, demands for sexual favors, or other sexually related verbal or physical behavior.
Anyone can be the victim of sexual harassment
While most individuals believe that sexual harassment primarily affects women, anybody, male or female, can be sexually harassed. The victim and the harasser may be of the same sex or opposite sex, according to an experienced employment law expert. Harassers might be a boss, a coworker, a client, or a client’s customer.
Examples of sexual harassment
Depending on the context and the persons involved, any variety of acts might be deemed sexual harassment. In some situations, displaying graphic content at your workstation or desk, for example, may be considered sexual harassment.
Similarly, it might be deemed sexual harassment if a coworker is touched or rubs up against them (not inadvertently). Other, perhaps more visible instances include a boss requesting sexual favors in return for a good work schedule, or a coworker trying or completing a sexual assault.
Types of sexual harassment
Sexual harassment accusations are divided into two categories: quid pro quo and hostile work environment. Employment choices, such as promotion, are dependent on an employee’s willingness to submit to sexual harassment in quid pro quo instances. When sexual harassment occurs in a hostile work setting, it makes the workplace frightening, unpleasant, or insulting. If you feel you have been exposed to sexual harassment of any kind, a skilled employment law attorney can assist you in determining the best course of action. Call PLBSH at (800) 435-7542 for help.