Sexual harassment in the workplace

Many employees are unaware of the federal laws that regulate inappropriate behavior that can occur in the workplace, such as sexual harassment. It is important to know what makes up sexual harassment and how does the federal law regulate it. This type of harassment can happen in various ways and the Supreme Court sees it as a sexual discrimination.

Types of sexual harassment

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 establishes that there are two types of sexual harassment: quid pro quo and hostile work environment. The former takes place when someone in the workplace with apparent authority, such as a supervisor or manager, ends up withholding or conferring certain employment benefits or continued employment in return for a sexual favor. An example of this can be when an employee is forced to submit to certain sexual demands from his or her manager or he or she will be fired from their position or they will retain some benefits or payment.

Hostile work environment happens when the victim endures sexually offensive behavior that alters the workplace into a place of hostility and abuse.

What rights exist?

Everyone has the right to work in a safe environment were no one should be subject to any kind of discrimination, whether it be based on race, sex or gender. Every employee also has the right to know to the workplace’s sexual harassment policy. If anyone happens to be a victim of sexual harassment, he or she has the right to speak against it and report the incident to HR or to the victim’s supervisor. If no proper measures can be taken by the employer, it is important to know that the victim can file charges with government agencies, such as EEOC.