What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment is an urgent problem nowadays in all over the world. Unfortunately, it has become too difficult to understand what can be labeled as sexual harassment and what not. Thus, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, sexual harassment is considered to be a form of sex discrimination.

Two types of sexual harassment claims are distinguished: Quid Pro Quo and Hostile Work Environment claims. In a Quid Pro Quo case a supervisor typically offers a sexual relationship, promising the employee a promotion or a raise. As for Hostile Work Environment cases, sexual harassment takes the nature of sexual jokes and photographs, inappropriate remarks and gesture. Such an atmosphere is stressful and intimidating for a worker or a student.

You can see that we somehow defined sexual harassment, but it is twice difficult to apply that definition to a particular situation. Quid Pro Quo cases, though, are easier to be defined by the courts; the same cannot be said about Hostile Work Environment cases.

It should be mentioned that not only supervisors or people of authority and power may harass their employees, but also simple co-workers may do so. Besides, there is a myth that only men may harass women, however, the reality is that in many cases there are women harassers as well.

It should be added that sexual harassment does not only occur in a workplace between an employee and an employer. The thing is that schoolchildren, the students of colleges and universities may also become victims of sexual harassment on the part of their teachers, professors or principals.

If you have been harassed sexually either in the workplace or at school or anywhere else, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. Know your rights; do not let anyone violate them.







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