The following research paper will explore sexual harassment as a form of discrimination that violates not only or civil rights but is a serious attempt against our dignity and values as human beings. Unexpected and unwelcome conduct is been experienced on all sorts of job environments. It was not until recent years where society finally made a serious determination that it is a common problem and the creation of strict guidelines and laws against this kind of behavior is of extreme importance.
In order to understand the seriousness of the problem we need to define what sexual harassment is? We need to divide it into its elements, recognized how the United States Government has made great efforts to eradicate, control and punish this behavior with the creation of strict affects all kind of working environment. It becomes critical to know how a person may become a victim, how it affect their daily lives and effective ways to prevent it. This paper will not only explore this important subject but will answer some of those questions.
Sexual harassment is form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII applies to employers with 15 or more employees, including State and local governments. It also applies to employment agencies and to labor organizations, as well as to the federal government.
Sexual Harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. (Title VII, n.d.)
Sexual Harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to the following: I. The victim as well as the harasser may be a woman or a man. This victim does not have to be of the opposite sex. II. The harasser can be the victim’s supervisors, an agent of the employer, and a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or a non-employee. III. The victim does not have to be a person harassed but could be anyone affected by the offensive conduct. IV. Unlawful sexual harassment may occur without economic injury to or discharge of the victim. V. The harasser’s conduct must be unwelcome.
Among other illegal practices, it is also unlawful to retaliate against an individual for opposing employment practices that discriminate based on sex or for filing a discrimination charge, testifying, or participating in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or litigation under Title VII.
Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. This act helps to provide victims the recovery of compensatory and punitive damages in cases of intentional violations of Title VII.
It is helpful for the victim to inform the harasser directly that the conduct is unwelcome and must stop. The victim should use any employer complaint mechanism or grievance system available.
When investigating allegations of sexual harassment, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) looks at the whole record. Circumstances such as the nature of the sexual advances, and the context in which the alleged incidents have occurred have to be taken into consideration. A determination on the allegations is made from the facts on a case-by-case basis.
Prevention is the best tool to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace. Employers are encouraged to take steps necessary to prevent sexual harassment from occurring in the work environment. They should clearly communicate to employees that sexual harassment will not be tolerated. They can do so by providing sexual harassment training to their employees and by establishing an effective complaint or grievance process and taking immediate and appropriate action when an employee complains. (Sexual...
References: Facts about Federal Sector Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint Processing. Retrieved on September 8, 2005 from website: http://www.eeoc.gov/facts.fs-fed.html
Facts about Sexual Harassment (n.d.), Retrieved on September 10, 2005 from website: http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/fs-sex.html
Policy Guidance on Employer Liability under Title VII for Sexual Favors (n.d.), Retrieved from website: http://eeoc.gov.policy/docs/sexualfavor.html
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Retrieved on September 13, 2005 from website: http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/vii.html
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (n.d.), Retrieved on September 14, 2005 from website: http://www.eeoc.gov/types/sexual_harassment.html
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