Understanding and Minimizing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

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  • Topic: Sexual harassment, Reasonable person, Employment
  • Pages : 14 (5036 words )
  • Download(s) : 68
  • Published : February 2, 2011
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TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION …………………………………………………………………………….… 1 DEFINING SEXUAL HARASSMENT ………………………………………………………… 1 QUID PRO QUO …………………………………………………………………………. 2 HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT ………………………...………………………….. 2 IMPLICATIONS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT …………………...………………………..... 4 EFFECTS ON EMPLOYEES ………………………………………………………..…... 5 EFFECTS ON EMPLOYERS ……………………………………………………...…….. 5 EMPLOYER LIABILITY ……………………………………………..…………………. 6 RESPONSIBILITY TO EMPLOYEES ……………………………….…………… 6 NON-EMPLOYEE SEXUAL HARASSMENT ……………………..…………….. 7 DEMOGRAPHIC INCIDENCE RATES OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT ……..……….. 8 MINIMIZING WORKPLACE SEXUAL HARASSMENT ……………………………….…… 9 SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICIES/TRAINING …………………………...………. 10 BANNING WORKPLACE RELATIONSHIPS ………………………………...……… 11 “LOVE CONTRACTS” ………………………………………………………...………. 12 CONCLUSION ………………………………………………………………………...………. 13 Appendix I – Sexual Harassment Charges EEOC & FEPAs COMBINED: 1997 – 2009 Appendix II - Total Monetary Awards for Sexual Harassment

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* Introduction
The year 1964 was a year of great legislative advancement when speaking of employment laws. This was the year the Civil Rights Act becomes law, which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin and sex. Although this act made a significant impact in providing for equality in the workplace, there still was no mention of sexual harassment within the boundaries of the law. In fact, it wasn’t until 1974 that the judicial system sees its first encounter with sexual harassment in the case of Barnes v. Train, where a female employee claims that she was unfairly retaliated against for rejecting her superior’s sexual advances. However, at that time, the court decides, “the male supervisor merely solicited his subordinate because he found her ‘attractive’ and then retaliated because he felt ‘rejected’” (Equal Rights Advocates). This case was later appealed in 1977 and Barnes v. Train was reversed, deciding that the supervisor’s actions were a violation of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Before going further into the subject of sexual harassment, it is important that we first understand what constitutes sexual harassment, the development of sexual harassment laws, and what implications it has in the workplace. Defining Sexual Harassment

Upon completion of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, a new government entity was formed known as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and it was their sole responsibility to enforce Title VII. In 1980, the EEOC issues several guidelines for interpreting the Civil Rights Act to “forbid sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination” (Equal Rights Advocates). In Fiscal Year 2008, EEOC received 13,867 charges of sexual harassment. Of those charges, 15.9% were filed by males. EEOC resolved 11,731 sexual harassment charges in FY 2008 and recovered $47.4 million in monetary benefits for charging parties and other aggrieved individuals (not including monetary benefits obtained through litigation)” (EEOC, 2010). The EEOC also at this time defines sexual harassment as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature... when any of the following conditions are met: (1) Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, (2) Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such an individual, (3) Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment” (Tyner & Clinton, 2010). The courts later simplified this definition of sexual harassment by implying that there are two basic types of unlawful sexual harassment. Quid Pro Quo

The first type is referred to as quid pro quo, which is known to...
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