Sexual Harassment

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|SEXUAL HARASSMENT | |Organizational Behavior | |Jef GANDON, Gallianne GOUJON, Sébastien BEVILACQUA, Mickael CHAMBON, Conor MCDONNELL, Thomas TAFANELLI | |Tutorial Group : 3 (Thursday 10am) |


Different views of sexual harassment: France VS USA2
Sexual Harassment in the USA2
Laws concerning Sexual Harassment:4
Examples of sexual harassment in USA:5
Sexual harasement in France8
Potential Sanctions:9
Comparison and recommendations10
1.Comparison between French and American approaches10


Sexual harassment is intimidation, bullying or coercion of a sexual nature, or the unwelcome or inappropriate promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favours. It includes a range of behaviour from seemingly mild transgressions and annoyances to actual sexual abuse or sexual assault. Sexual harassment is a form of illegal employment discrimination in many countries, and is a form of abuse (sexual and psychological) and bullying. For many businesses, preventing sexual harassment, and defending employees from sexual harassment charges, has become key goals of legal decision-making[1].

In a first part we will talk about the sexual harassment concept in United States and in France. We will support these two notions with two famous American cases. However we have not found French equivalence because of the French legislation and culture as such information is protected by law.

In a second part, we will analyse and compare these two approaches and give some recommendations to fix that problem and to prevent new cases.

Different views of sexual harassment: France VS USA

What is Sexual Harassment for the USA?

Sexual harassment is considered sexual and sexist violence. This violence has multiform: insults, physical and sexual aggressions, rape. It can be declared as sexual in nature when:

• Employee is hired because she did not spurn executives’ explicit or implicit behaviours to be sure to be hired, or • The source of employee recruitment depends on the acceptation or on the refusal of this manner, or • This comportment has the aim / consequence of excessively interfering with the worker’s job achievement or setting up a threatening and unfriendly working environment.

In the United-States of America, the U.S. Supreme Court divides sexual harassment into two types: the first one is only based on employment action and the second one is creating an unfriendly environment.

When explaining the first kind of Sexual Harassment it is easier done using examples. What is meant by “employment action”? It is every sexual propositions made by the supervisor towards an employee in exchange for promotion, raise, etc. If the employee rejects these advances, she will be over-looked for the promotion or even fired. An employer / manager who has the power of hiring, firing, promoting or breaking the promoting promise to an employee can only make this kind of sexual harassment.

The second type of sexual harassment, which really differs from the French on some points, develops in an aggressive atmosphere. This kind of surrounding can come from the undesirable behaviour of co-workers, clients, salesman or anyone else that may victimize the employee. What creates this environment is:

• Displeased threats to impose a sexual quid pro quo
• Suggesting sexual activities
• Making obscene jokes
• Needless touching
• Commenting on physical attributes
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