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Sexual Harassment

Essay by   •  June 17, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  1,113 Words (5 Pages)  •  2,896 Views

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Content

Introduction...................................................................................... Page 3

Sexual Harassment vs. Gender Discrimination.............................................. Page 3 & 4

Types of Sexual Harassment.................................................................. Page 4

Sexual Harassment Behaviors and "Unreasonable" Behavior............................ Page 4 & 5

"Severe or Pervasive"............................................................................ Page 5

Valid Written Sexual Harassment Policy...................................................... Page 6

Faragher v City of Boca Raton............................................................... Page 6

Appendix........................................................................................ Page 7

References....................................................................................... Page 8

Sexual Harassment

Introduction

Sexual harassment can be a huge legal issue for a company. However there are steps a company can take to keep their liability down. In this paper I am going to legally define what sexual harassment is and how it differs from gender discrimination. I am also going to legally define the types of sexual discrimination, "quid pro quo" and hostile environment, and provide examples of each. The paper will cover what factors contribute to determine whether behavior is sexual harassment and define the standard by which "unreasonable" behavior is determined. I will also discuss what situations are considered "severe or pervasive" and why these terms are important. Finally I will discuss the main legal reason why every company should have a valid written policy against sexual harassment.

Sexual Harassment vs. Gender Discrimination

Let's begin by legally defining what sexual harassment is. The EEOC defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that tends to create a hostile or offensive work environment. (http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/sexual+harassment) Now let's define what gender discrimination is. Gender (or sex) discrimination occurs when a person is subjected to different or unequal treatment ("discrimination") in any number of situations, when that treatment is based on the person's gender. (http://public.findlaw.com/civil-rights/gender-discrimination/gender-discrimination-basics.html) Sexual harassment differs from gender discrimination in that gender discrimination is a judgment based on whether the person is male or female. Sexual harassment is when an act is being verbal or physically projected onto a person in the work place.

Types of Sexual Harassment

There are two types of sexual harassment "quid pro quo" and hostile environment sexual harassment. The legal definition of "quid pro quo" is 'what for what' or 'something for something.' Another way to look at this is the concept of getting something of value in return for giving something of value. (http://www.lectlaw.com/def2/q003.htm) An example of this type of harassment would if a supervisor asked an employee for sex in return for a pay raise. Now let's look at what hostile environment sexual harassment means. A hostile environment is when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment. (http://www.aauw.org/act/laf/library/workplaceharassmentFAQ.cfm) An example of hostile sexual harassment would be if one employee was touching another employee in a way that made him or her feel uncomfortable. If this behavior continued after the harasser was asked to refrain and did not, which made the victim unable to perform their job because of the behavior this would be considered a hostile environment.

Sexual Harassment Behaviors and "Unreasonable" Behavior

The factors that contribute in determining whether behavior is sexual harassment are:

1. submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly

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