Sexual harassment in the work place
University of the Virgin Islands
Professor Vanda Espinosa
There is no place for sexual harassment in the workplace, however in many organizations it remains an ugly fact that these unnecessary sexual acts are taking place. Harassment of a woman by a man or of a man by a woman, or harassment between people of the same gender is in its essence the enactment of power, weather hierarchical, based on stronger physical attributes, or both. It reduces the victim to feeling lower then what they are. Sexual harassment victims feel ashamed, angry and humiliated, and find it difficult to continue working under such conditions
Sexual harassment is any kind of sexual behavior that is unwelcome or inappropriate for the work place, school grounds or any other place where people interact. There are four examples of sexual harassment: making sexual advances, making solicitations, making sexual requests, and making demands for sexual compliance (makinnon, 1979). There can also be cases of verbal harassment and visual harassment such as posters, cartoons, and drawings. People who sexually harass do so to Belittle, humiliate, and control others by using sex or sexually-explicit materials and Language to make another person feel uncomfortable and fearful. Sometimes their motive is to have power over that person or to use the power they already have in order to force others into sexual activities (MacKinnon, 1979). Although harasser’s actions are sexual in nature, they are essentially about Exerting power over another person. Sexual harassment has an impact on men, but it has an even greater impact on women. When it comes to the issues of the work place, Sexual harassment involves unwelcome, unsolicited and unwanted sexual behavior that in the workplace that offends, humiliates, embarrasses, intimidates or otherwise causes distress to the affected employee or employees (work place sexual harassment, 2013). Employers in the public and the private sector should take appropriate steps to prevent sexual harassment. To do so, employees as well as supervisors and managers need a clear understanding of their rights in the workplace. Equally important, they must be educated and learn that sexual harassment in the workplace is ethically unacceptable. Sexual Harassment is a violation of section 703 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (laws, 2013). The laws governing sexual harassment in the United States include an exemption that employers in the private sector can use to avoid liability. Specifically, if the employer was not aware that sexual harassment was occurring, and was not in a position to know about the harassment, and the organization provided training or information to supervisors and managers explaining that sexual harassment would not be tolerated, and if the company took prompt and appropriate action once the sexual harassment was reported then the company cannot be successfully sued by the employee who was the victim of workplace sexual harassment (Soycher, 2002). Sexual harassment can take the form of sexual jokes and innuendos; it can take the form of groping, or in the case of a superior to subordinate relationship it can be coercive in nature (Soycher, 2002). For example, a supervisor or manager might threaten to fire an employee that does not consent to a sexual relationship. A supervisor might also offer inducements as well as threats. These inducements might include paid overtime, more desirable jobs, better assignments, promotions and raises (Soycher, 2002). Dealing with a complaint of sexual harassment is not a simple task for an employer or the victim to deal with. There are certain procedures that have to be on point depending on what sector the victim might work in. the private and public sectors handle firing an employee or supervisor that is accused differently. Some companies have terminated employees that filed complaints on the supervisors...
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