Sexual harassment is a form f sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This law also protects employees from discrimination based on race, color, national origin, and religion. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. To be considered a form of sexual harassment, the action must impact a person’s employment, interferes with their work performance, or create an intimidating, hostile work environment.
Two Categories of Sexual Harassment
When charlotte nc employment lawyers talk about sexual harassment, they usually look at the following categories:
- Quid pro quo. This form of sexual harassment is propositioning sex as a condition of employment or advancement. It includes explicitly stating or implying that agreeing to sexual favors or romantic involvement will impact or determine whether an employee gets the job, keeps the job, gets the raise, gets the promotion, or get a fair performance review.
- Hostile work environment. Sexual advances, innuendos, as well as unwelcome conduct and comments based on sex, can create a hostile environment. These actions or practices are ongoing that a victim could decide to quit their job or suffer from depression in some instances. The court will interpret what makes something rise to the level of a hostile work environment, depending on the place and time.
Sexual Harassment Laws
Federal law covers employers in both private and public sectors with at least 15 employees. According to the EEOC, the harasser can be the victim’s direct supervisor, another supervisor, a co-worker, or someone who is not employed. Also, the harasser can be of the same or opposite sex as the victim.
Many people can expect at some stage in their careers to have to take professional advice from an employment lawyer. Federal law covers employers in both private and public sectors with at least 15 employees. According to the EEOC, the harasser can be the victim’s direct supervisor, another supervisor, a co-worker, or someone who is not employed. Also, the harasser can be of the same or opposite sex as the victim.
What Victims Should Do
To determine which path is right for them, victims must seek out legal advice tailored to their situation. However, there are things they can do to get started. For instance, victims can start keeping a record of the incidents that are happening. This lets them present detailed examples if they report the harassment to their employer or the EEOC. Also, they should make it clear that the conduct is not welcome. If the harassment continues and the victim decides to take their complaint to their employer, they can truthfully say that they have made it clear the conduct is unwelcome and asked for it to stop. Most importantly, victims should consult an attorney. This is especially important if they find the situation confusing, need advice on whether particular behaviors constitute sexual harassment, or have reason to worry that their employer will not take their complaint seriously.