sexual harassment

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Harassment Pages: 10 (3269 words) Published: February 6, 2014
What is Sexual Harassment?
In 1978, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) gave the guidelines defining sexual harassment and setting out what, in its view, was prohibited by the law. In their current form, the guidelines state: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature constitute when 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 the individual, or 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. Both males and females are victims of sexual harassment. But generally it is the females who are most frequent subjects of sexual harassment. Types of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment can take a variety of forms. It includes both physical violence and more subtle forms of violence such as coercion or the creation of a hostile work environment. A hostile work environment includes situations, for example, when the victim is not appointed to important committees, does not receive information about training opportunities or is not considered for promotion because of family responsibilities. This type of sexual harassment is difficult to document but still can significantly affect women's work and career paths. 2 different forms of sexual harassment:

(1) quid pro quo, and
(2) hostile work environment
Quid pro quo is Latin for “this for that” or “something for something” and refers to an exchange. In this case, the exchange is between employees, where one provides sexual favors in exchange for something else, such as favorable treatment in work assignments, pay or promotion. Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when employment decisions and conditions are based upon whether as employee is willing to grant sexual favors. Hiring, promotions, salary increases, shift or work assignments, and performance expectation are some of the working benefits that can be made conditional on sexual favors. A hostile work environment is one in which unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature creates an uncomfortable work environment for some employees. Examples of this conduct include sexually explicit talk, sexually provocative photographs, foul or hostile language or inappropriate touching. Who is Harasser & Who may be Harassed?

It is commonly thought that workplace sexual harassment is limited to interactions between male bosses and female subordinates. This is not true. In fact, sexual harassment can occur between any co-workers, including the following: peer to peer harassment;

subordinate harassment of a supervisor;
men can be sexually harassed by women;
same sex harassment – men can harass men; women can harass women; third party harassment; and
offenders can be supervisors, co-workers, or non-employees, such as customers, vendors, and suppliers. Another common perception is that the person who is the recipient of the behavior is the victim of the sexual harassment. In fact, anyone who is affected by the offensive conduct, whether they were the intended “target” or not, is a victim of sexual harassment. The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) states, ''the victim does not have to be the person harassed but could be anyone affected by the offensive conduct." Likewise, there is no “typical harassed woman.” Women of all ages, backgrounds, races and experience and in every work environment experience sexual harassment. Arguments against Sexual Harassment

It is vague to define sexual harassment as different people hold different values, standards of morality and sense of humor. For example, it is difficult to distinguish sexual harassment and flirting. Yet, sexual harassment is about the fundamental of ethics...
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