This blog recently discussed the serious nature of sexual harassment in the workplace. It can be helpful to be armed with the facts concerning sexual harassment if a worker is experiencing it or concerned about it. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII applies to companies with greater than 15 employees, state and local governments and some others. It protects workers in the workplace from sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other physical or verbal conduct that is sexual in nature when the conduct impacts the individual's employment; unreasonably interferes with the individual's work performance; or creates a hostile, offensive or intimidating work environment. It is important to keep in mind that sexual harassment is illegal and victims have remedies.
Sexual harassment can take place in a variety of settings and can include a man or a woman as both the victim and the harasser; the victim does not have to be of the opposite sex as the harasser; the harasser can be the victim's supervisor, the employer's agent, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker or a party that is a non-employee; the victim does not necessarily have to be the person harassed but could be anyone impacted by the offensive conduct; unlawful sexual harassment can occur without a discharge to the victim or economic injury to the victim; and the harasser's conduct must be unwelcome.
Employers are required to create a safe place to work and in and incidents of sexual harassment, sex discrimination or other discrimination should be reported to the employer. In addition, different legal protections are available to victims of sexual harassment in the workplace and victims should always be familiar with how to access those resources when needed.