Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Sexual harassment can range from persistent offensive sexual jokes to inappropriate touching to posting offensive material on a bulletin board.
Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) defines workplace sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances or conduct of a sexual nature which unreasonably interferes with the performance of a person's job or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
Sexual harassment at work is a serious problem and can happen to both women and men.
Both state and federal laws protect employees from sexual harassment at work.
If either quid pro quo or hostile work environment harassment can be proven, employers may be liable for compensatory (monetary loss, pain and suffering) and punitive damages.
Liability may depend on who committed the harassment (superior or co-worker) and what action the company took to correct it.
If the harassment is committed by a superior and: Strategies to Stop the Harassment With the above legal standards for sexual harassment at work in mind, victims of harassment also bear the burden of attempting to end it.
A single instance of harassment is sufficient to sustain a quid pro quo claim (e.g., a superior demands you kiss her/him in order to keep your job), while a pattern of harassment is typically required to qualify as a hostile work environment.
Hostile work environment harassment is grounds for legal action when the conduct is unwelcome, based on sex, and severe or pervasive enough to create an abusive or offensive working environment.