Understanding and recognizing discrimination and sexual harassment – part two
In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in sexual harassment lawsuits due to new legal regulations, increasing employee awareness of personal rights, and media attention to high profile claims.
There are two common types of sexual harassment that occur in the workplace: Quid-pro-quo and hostile work environment.
Quid pro quo is submission to unwelcome sexual conduct that is stated whether explicitly or implicitly as a condition of employment which include hiring, compensation, benefits, training, promotion, demotion, corrective action, or termination.
Hostile work environment is conduct or treatment that creates an intimidating, hostile, and offensive work environment. The harassment also generates unreasonable interference with work performance and changes the job or the ability to do the job.
Examples of sexual harassment generally include:
- Unwelcome sexual advances
- Requests/demands for sexual favors
- Verbal/physical conduct of a sexual nature such as a shoulder massage, hug, or pat on the back
- Deliberate/repeated verbal comments of a sexual nature
- Sexual language
- Obscene gender-related humor
- References to person’s body/sexual activities
It is critical that you make every effort to prevent harassment in your organization and take appropriate action immediately if it occurs.