Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Basic Knowledge About Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Sexual harassment is a form of illegal employment discrimination that pervades the workplace. It violates the rights of employees guaranteed by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and succeeding amendments. For many businesses and other organizations, Impeding sexual harassment and defending employees from the charges of the same, has become main goals of lawful verdict.

For the past few months, cases of sexual harassment in the workplace have been on the rise. Below are some of the basic information about sexual harassment that comes from expert professionals, witnesses, and survivors of the same:

The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines sexual harassment as “undesirable sexual advances, request for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.”

There are two identified basic types of unlawful sexual harassment according to the US Supreme Court:

• Quid Pro Quo – a Latin term which means “this for that” or “get out or put out”. This is when a manager, supervisor or a senior officer uses their power and authority to affect an employee’s work – related opportunities and benefits.
• Unfriendly Work Place - It’s an unwelcoming conduct of anyone in the workplace based on gender.

Workplace becomes sexually unfriendly based on two criteria:

• Behavior must be mistreating to the person receiving the treatment
• Behavior must be over penetrating enough to create a work place which a reasonable person would find mistreating.

In 1991, Title VII was amended for several reasons, as follows to wit:

Allow proper remedies for intentional discrimination and illegal harassment in the workplace.
To prevent employment retaliation such as poor evaluations, demotions, changing work schedules, terminations, verbal abuse and others.

Sexual harassers can be of the same or opposite sex of the employee being harassed.

Sexual harassment has expanded in different ways due to the modern technology. For an instance, sexually explicit words, exposure of pictures and other images, e-mail, texting, sex – on – phone, internet and social networks.

Handling sexual harassment allegations aims to stop the illegal offensive behavior ahead of time for employees and employers.

In some states, their federal government provided a bill that requires supervisors and managers to undergo Sexual Harassment Prevention and Training. The training includes knowledge about their federal state laws, and from identifying to remedying sexual harassment in the workplace as well as its prevention and reoccurrence.

Take note, that what is harassment to one may not be determined the same to others.

Know the employer’s sexual harassment prevention and reporting guidelines and procedures.

Every employee has their right to work in a sexual harassment free workplace.

In most states, if workplace has become a common place for sexual harassment, employers are legally held responsible even if management was not aware of the harassment. They are also expected to do a quick and remedial action to end this behavior.

If these forms of sexual harassment occur in your workplace or you have been a victim of the same, be rest assured that a beneficial settlement could be made possible on your behalf through the help and guidance of an employment lawyer.