What Is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment is considered as a form of sex discrimination, and when it occurs at any working place, it is a violation of the civil rights act of 1964, which is under Title VII. Most employers take advantage of their position and exploit sexual behaviors to their employees, and when they refuse, they’re fired or denied some employment benefits. EEOC defines sexual harassment as any unwelcome sexual behavior, requests of sexual favors, or any sexual misconduct. Sexual harassment is an extreme case, it’s an illegal act under both federal and Florida state laws, and it’s a violation of the Florida civil rights act. Sexual harassment isn’t only related to females, even males can be victims of sexual harassment, and sometimes it can also be the same gender.
What Is Considered As Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment can come in different forms; it depends on the people and the situation. Unwelcomed sexual activity is considered sexual harassment. Giving bribes directly or indirectly for sexual activity can be regarded as sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can be done verbally with suggestive jokes, brushing against another person, or unwelcome touching. Sexual assault is also sexual harassment.
Sexual Harassment Laws
Under title (VII) of the civil rights act of 1964, the law protects individuals against any form of sex discrimination. No employer has the right to explore any unwanted sexual behavior with his or her employees. It is illegal for any employer to discriminate his employees when firing, hiring, or denial of any other job benefits or opportunity because of their sex.
Types Of Sexual Harassment Claims
Quid Pro Quo
In this type of sexual harassment, the employer makes employment decisions based on an individual’s willingness to submit themselves to any form of sexual activity or harassment. Such employment decisions include; promotion, keeping your job contract, bonuses, assignments, and any other benefits.
Hostile Work Environment Claims
In this form of sexual harassment, the working place environment is intimidating, offensive, or hostile.
Who Is Involved In Sexual Harassment?
- The victim can be a man or a woman.
- The harasser can be a woman or a man.
- The victim can be of the same sex.
- The harasser doesn’t necessarily have to be your boss or supervisor; it can be a co-worker or non-employee.
- Anyone that is affected by the misconduct is also a victim of sexual harassment.
- It is illegal for any employer to retaliate because an employee has reported misconduct.
Examples Of Sexual Harassment Behaviors
- Any unwanted physical contact such as; touching, kissing, pinching, patting, fondling, grabbing, or groping.
- They are interfering, blocking, or suppressing free movement in the working place.
- Repeated invitations for sexual favors after the person has refused; this could be by email, phone, or face to face.
- Verbal sexual abuse.
- Use of graphic comments concerning the individual’s body.
- Making inappropriate jokes, slurs, epithets, and comments.
- Employment benefits that are given to employees that have submitted themselves to an employer’s sexual desires over an employee who denies such sexual favors.
Most sexual harassment in the workplace is not reported because most of the time, it involves the employer and the victims are afraid to say the inappropriate behavior because they think they might lose their job or are fearful of retaliation from their employer. Just because the harasser is in a dominant position, it doesn’t mean you let them harass you. Employees are strongly protected from any sexual harassment behavior; each citizen should know their rights. The moment you notice any form of sexual harassment from your employer or co-worker, you should give a warning, and if it’s repeatedly done, there is a need to take action. You need to report to the proper authorities and also consult a good lawyer that has experience in dealing with sexual harassment cases. Gather all the necessary proofs and witnesses that might help you to defend your case.
If you’re a victim of sexual harassment, contact Massey & Duffy for a free consultation, you’ll get free advice on how to deal with any harasser that’s disturbing you at your workplace.