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Friday, August 11, 2017

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment knows no gender. The victim or perpetrator of the harassment may be a man or a woman. It can happen in the office or outside at an office holiday party. Sexual harassment comes in many forms, all of which are prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This federal law includes protection against gender discrimination of all types. Because the sexual harassment behavior occurs due to a person’s gender, sexual harassment is categorized as gender discrimination. Additionally, New York State’s Human Rights Law and New York City Human Rights Law. These more localized laws offer broader protections as they apply to smaller employers that may not be included under the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964.

No one deserves to suffer through sexual harassment although you might feel extreme professional pressure to do so. Know that you do not have to go through this. There are legal protections in place that bar this kind of behavior. Tand and Associates P.C. is here to enforce your legal rights to be free from sexual harassment.

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment includes a range of inappropriate behaviors. Some of which are:

  • Sexist words or behavior
  • Sexual bribery, coercion, or intimidation
  • Sexual joking
  • Unwelcome sexual advances
  • Unwelcome touching
  • Sexual favor requests

Harassment can include other kinds of verbal or physical actions of a sexual nature. This can include inappropriate communications via text message or email.

As previously stated, the victim or perpetrator of the sexual harassment can be a man or a woman. The victim does not need to be of the opposite sex than the perpetrator. While the perpetrator of the harassment is commonly a supervisor or a person holding some level of authority over the victim, the perpetrator can be a co-worker or an agent of the employer.

Sexual harassment claims are dealt with by the Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC files sexual harassment into two main categories. The first category, and most common sexual harassment situation, is the “hostile work environment.” This arises when the unwelcome verbal or physical actions of someone rises to such an unreasonable level as to make it difficult for the victim to do his or her job and creates a hostile work environment.

The other EEOC category of sexual harassment is “quid pro quo.” This occurs when employment decisions hinge on being complicit with unwelcome sexual conduct. In other words, if you have to perform sexual favors or respond favorably to unwanted sexual advantages in order to receive a promotion or avoid demotion or being fired, this would be “quid pro quo” sexual harassment.

Defending Sexual Harassment Victims.

You do not need to suffer through a hostile work environment created by sexual harassment. There are legal remedies available to you and Tand and Associates is here to help you enforce them.

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