Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Sexual Harassment Symptoms and Remedies

Sexual harassment as a form of discrimination is prevalent in many workplaces around the country. In some instances, many of the victims in these cases fail to recognize signs of abuse, which sometimes cause delay in the filing of suit against the abuser.

Unknown to many, the following acts may constitute sexual harassment:

• Unwelcome sexual advances

• requests for sexual favors

• other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature

Not only is sexual harassment a form of discrimination, but it is counter-productive as well, as it creates a “hostile work environment” that could affect the quality of work of an employee.

The article, Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment, posted on July 27, 2008, provides information on the damaging effects of these acts. According to the article, a sexual harassment act may “alter the work environment and create an abusive workplace”.

Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to the following:

• The victim as well as the harasser may be a woman or a man. The victim does not have to be of the opposite sex

• The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, an agent of the employer, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or a non-employee

• The victim does not have to be the person harassed but could be anyone affected by the offensive conduct

• Unlawful sexual harassment may occur without economic injury to or discharge of the victim

• The harasser's conduct must be unwelcome

In California, a statute was specially created to help victims of sexual harassment. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 includes sexual harassment as a form of discrimination and provides protection for harassed workers.

In situations where a worker or employee is confronted with harassment of this nature, the victim must immediately ask a harasser to stop or refrain from doing it. After that, the victim may file a complaint with the proper office.

Otherwise, with the help of a lawyer, the victim may also lodge a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC).