Sexual Harassment Paper
HRM320: Employment Law
DeVry University Online
Sexual Harassment Paper
It is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person’s sex. Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person’s sex. For example, it is illegal to harass a woman by making offensive comments about women in general. Both victim and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the victim and harasser can be the same sex. Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted). Employers typically include a policy against sexual harassment in personnel policies or employee handbooks. These policies use the EEOC definition of prohibited conduct as a guideline. The prohibited conduct must be stated in an understandable way.
Define sexual harassment as the term is used legally.
Sexual harassment is legally defined as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that tends to create a hostile or offensive work environment. A key part of the definition is the use of the word unwelcome. Unwelcome or uninvited conduct or communication of a sexual nature is prohibited; welcome or invited actions or words are not unlawful. Sexual or romantic interaction between consenting people at work may be offensive to observers or may violate company policy, but it is not sexual harassment” (Legal Dictionary, 2010).
Explain how sexual harassment differs from gender discrimination. Sexual harassment does not necessarily have to cause economic suffering or threats/acts of firing. The behavior of the harasser must be unwelcome. Sexual harassers can be women or men and do not have to be of the opposite sex. The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, subordinate, a co-worker, a client, a supervisor in another area, or a non-employee. The victim does not need to be the person to whom offensive behavior was directed, but could be someone else affected by the offensive behavior. Sex discrimination exists when a person or group of people are treated unfairly solely on the basis of their biological sex. “Title VII defines sex discrimination in employment as including failure or refusal to hire, discrimination in discharge, classification of employees or applicants so as to deprive individuals of employment opportunities, discrimination in apprenticeship and on-the-job training programs, retaliation for opposition to an unlawful employment practice, and sexually stereotyped advertisements relating to employment” (US Legal, 2012).
Provide the legal definition of "quid pro quo" (also known as "vicarious liability") sexual harassment. Provide one example of a behavior which could be found to be quid pro quo sexual harassment. Quid pro quo sexual harassment is a “specific type of harassment that occurs when someone requests or expects sexual favors in exchange for a job, promotion, benefits, or other employment opportunity. This is a well-recognized form of sexual harassment and typically involves a boss, supervisor, or other person in a position of power. He or she may make judgments of employment benefits based on whether a person complies with sexual demands” (University of Mayland, 1998). An example of this type of harassment would be demoting or firing an employee because he or she declined sexual advances or ended a relationship or requesting or demanding sexual favors in exchange for employment or academic...
References: US Legal. (2012, January 01). Retrieved June 09, 2012, from US Legal: http://definitions.uslegal.com/e/employment-gender-discrimination/
AAUP. (2009, January 01). AAUP. Retrieved June 10, 2012, from AAUP: http://www.aaup.org/AAUP/programs/legal/topics/sex-harass-policies.htm
American Bar. (1997, October 01). American Bar. Retrieved June 10, 2012, from American Bar: http://www.americanbar.org/newsletter/publications/gp_solo_magazine_home/gp_solo_magazine_index/w96shi.html
EEOC. (1999, June 21). EEOC. Retrieved June 09, 2012, from EEOC: http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/currentissues.html
EEOC. (2011, June 01). EEOC. Retrieved June 01, 2012, from EEOC: http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/practices/harassment.cfm
Legal Dictionary. (2010, January 01). Legal Dictionary. Retrieved June 09, 2012, from Legal Dictionary: http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/sexual+harassment
LII. (2012, January 01). LII. Retrieved June 10, 2012, from LII: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0477_0057_ZS.html
The Advocates for Human Rights. (2007, April 15). The Advocates for Human Rights. Retrieved June 09, 2012, from The Advocates for Human Rights: http://www.stopvaw.org/sexual_harassment_that_creates_a_hostile_work_environment.html
University of Mayland. (1998, October 01). University of Mayland. Retrieved June 09, 2012, from University of Mayland: http://www.president.umd.edu/legal/policies/def.html
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