Sexual Harassment is any unwelcome verbal, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is severe or pervasive and affects working conditions or creates a hostile work environment. Harrasment covers a wide range of "behaviors" of an offensive nature. It is commonly understood as behaviours that demean, humiliates or embarrasses a person and it is characteristically identified by its unlikelihood in terms of social and moral reasonableness. In the legal sense, these are behaviors that appear to be disturbing, upsetting or threatening . Sexual harassment refers to persistent and unwanted sexual advances even after gently refusing, typically in the workplace, where the consequences are potentially very disadvantageous to the victim if there is a power imbalance between the perpetrator.
There are three forms of sexual Harassment.
verbal harrasement includes the comment about clothing, a persons body, sexual or gender based jokes or remarks, requesting sexual favors or repeatedly asking a person out it also includes sexual innuendos threats spreading rumors about a persons or sexual life or using foul and obscene language .
Visual harrasement can includes posters ,drawings, pictures ,screen savers cartoons ,emails or texts of a sexual nature.
Physical harrasement often includes sexual assault impeding or blocking movement inappropriate touching such as kissing, hugging, patting, stroking or rubbing sexual gesturing or even leering or staring .
Each of these forms of harrasement can be broke down into two categories which are given below.
Quid pro Quo means This for That
Hostile work enviroment
Quid Pro Quo (This for That)
This happens when an employer and supervisor uses job rewards or punishments to coerce an employee into a sexual relationship or sexual act this includes offering the employee raises or promotions or threatening demotions firing or other penalties for not complying with the request.
HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT
A hostile work environment occurs when employee behavior interferes with the work performance of another or creates an inti9midating or offensive worplace this usually happens when someone makes repeated sexual comments and makes another employee feel so uncomfortable that their work performance suffers or they decline professional opportunities because it would put them in contact with the harrasser in either type of harrasemnet .
Employees only have to prove that the behavior was offensive to someone even if it was not the intended recipent.
Alex tells a dirty joke to Linda and Linda loves the joke and laughs however Ellie happens to be walking by when the joke is told Ellie is offended by the joke that joke could contribute to a hostile enviroment claim because Ellie who happened to be in the area finds the dirty joke offensive.
There are two conditons to determine if a company is liable the first is whether the employer knew or should have known about the harrasment.
The second is whether the empolyer failed to take appropriate corrective action having policies in place and an active traing program can shield employers from expensive lawsuits.