Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/fs-sex.cfm states the following:
"Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment."
Many different people can be affected by sexual harassment. Note the following groups that can be affected by sexual harassment:
The common scenario is that the harasser is the victim's supervisor, but that is not the only possible scenario. The harasser can also be:
The most important deciding factor of harassment is that the behavior must be unwelcome.
There are two main categories of sexual harassment:
Quid pro quo translates to "this for that." The harasser wants sexual favors in return for the victim keeping a job, or other career related benefit.
In this category, typically the harasser is the victim's supervisor or someone in a position of power. The victim is forced to tolerate sexual harassment for fear of losing a job, or in order to obtain a raise or promotion. This can be a single occurrence if it is severe or a repeated behavior, no matter how minor.
A hostile work environment can be defined by many possible scenarios. Generally, a hostile work environment is when harassment behavior interferes with employee work performance or creates an abusive or offensive atmosphere.
In this category, there is typically a repeated behavior that may start off small and harmless but builds to an intolerable situation. A behavior can be severe enough to create a hostile work environment after only a single occurrence.
The harasser can be:
The harassment can be: