Sexual harassment in the workplace is one of the hot topics for discussion at present. Not a day goes by without reading about at least one incident related to it in the local dailies. Consequently, there has been a proportional rise in the demand for the services of sexual harassment in the workplace lawyers.
Regardless of how it concerns you, getting an insight into it can lend you a helping hand in making an informed decision.
In this post, we will answer six common questions linked to sexual harassment.
1. What is workplace sexual harassment?
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 1964 defines workplace sexual harassment. It includes both verbal and physical sexual acts involving the following:
- Submission to a sexual act as a stated condition of employment in any form
- Compelling one to engage in such conduct by citing it to be the criteria for employment decisions
- Any sexual conduct that affects the performance of an employee
- Any inappropriate sexual behavior that leads to hostility and intimidation in the workplace environment
2. What separates sexual harassment cases from other cases?
An important point to note in sexual harassment cases is that they must be characterized by the words “unwelcome” or unwanted for them to be considered as workplace sexual harassment.
As far as the victim is concerned, they can be a member of either sex. In other words, either a man or woman can be accused of sexually harassing the members of the same or opposite gender.
3. What constitutes sexual harassment in the workplace?
There is a long list of items that come under the purview of sexual harassment in the workplace. It may differ for different individuals. This includes an individual’s situation and the position of employment in a company or business organization.
Both unwanted sexual advances and asking an employee for a sexual favor also come under the domain of sexual harassment. It includes the following:
- Threatening an employee or offering them money to engage in an act of sexual nature.
- Making remarks, comments or sharing jokes suggestive of sexual harassment.
- Brushing against or touching an individual inappropriately against their consent in the workplace.
- Showing materials to another staff member or employee that relate to pornography either directly or indirectly.
It also includes several other aspects. However, those that are mentioned above are the primary legal considerations for a case of sexual harassment on an offender.
4. Which laws relate to sexual harassment in workplaces?
As a federal law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which came into effect in 1964, seeks to protect individuals from sexual bias in workplaces.
Because the law treats sexual harassment as a form of discrimination, it considers it illegal on the part of an employer to hire, fire or offer a promotion or a pay rise to an individual based on sex.
Also, stating these as employment terms and conditions is against the law.
In some of the states in the United States, there are also some additional provisions to the ones recorded in Title VII. it considers a harasser as someone who targets a victim of particular sex without taking the former’s gender into account.
You can find out more about the laws in this connection by consulting one of the qualified sexual harassment lawyers in CT or any other jurisdictions in the United States.
5. What are the different kinds of sexual harassment claims one can make?
A person who feels sexually harassed can make a claim based on the following grounds:
- Quid pro quo sexual harassment: This includes cases concerning an employer or a person in authority of a company making decisions on promotions, assignments, and job retention of another employee subject to their agreement or accession to sexual harassment. In broad terms, it includes unwanted sexual advances as a part of the terms and conditions of an individual’s employment.
- Hostile work environment claims: Any claim that indicates that the work environment of a company has become frightening, threatening, offensive or hostile to an employee comes under this category. It can be both physical and verbal by nature. Further, it may either happen due to the solitary involvement of a person or others may also collaborate
6. Whom does the law consider a harasser in the workplace?
According to law, anyone who is involved in the act of harassing a person sexually in the workplace is a harasser. It can be an employer, employee or one of the clients of a business organization. An important point to consider here is that the harasser may be related to a company either directly or indirectly.
Sexual harassment cases in a workplace involve incidents featuring unwanted or inappropriate sexual behavior that affects the performance of an employee or results in a biased environment business organization. Such incidents can either be physical or verbal by nature. Generally, sexual harassment cases are serious by nature. As such, one must consult the best sexual harassment lawyers for the right legal advice.