Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
May 10, 2004
May 5, 2004
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Sexual harassment occurs quite frequently in various workplaces and can consist of many different situations. In today's world though, females are not the only ones who have to deal with this problem, believe it or not, males do too. There are many ways of dealing with these situations, but getting the harassment to stop is not as easy. Dealing with sexual harassment today does not just include unwelcome sexual advances, but slurs, lewd remarks, and much more. Many laws have been set up to interact with these problems. Unfortunately, most of these laws are not followed through. Let's go into detail and take a look at many different situations and actions. What is sexual harassment in the work place you may ask? Sexual harassment may consist of the following, repeated sexual innuendos, off-color jokes, slurs, lewd remarks, and sexually explicit content of letters, emails, faxes, and notes. This type of conduct interferes with the victims work performance and can create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment. A person that comes in contact with this problem sometimes feels submission to the conduct as if it is necessary to keep the job. Also, in some cases a person may feel that employment decisions are based on how they react to the conduct. We have to realize that women are not the only victims of harassment, men are too. Along with the following, either a man or a woman can be the harasser and also can come form a person of the same sex. One important thing people do not understand is that the person complaining about sexual harassment does not have to be the person at whom it was directed. It could be a person who has witnessed, overheard, or told about the situation. With there being a number of different types of harassment, there are also different types of harassing conduct. They are broken down into four main groups including physical, verbal, visual, and hazing harassment. Physical harassment involves touching someone in a sexual manner by pinching, patting, rubbing up against, gestures, and assault. Verbal conduct tends to deal with jokes of racial sexual nature, comments, questions or comments about a persons body, and using offensive language of a sexual nature. Visual drawings, displaying sexual objects, electronic messages, e-mail, and faxes are one form of harassment that occurs often in many workplaces. Finally, hazing harassment continues when teasing and practical jokes occur of a sexual nature and spreading rumors about a person's personal sex life. With so many different things being consider sexual harassment, there are two questions that you can ask yourself in determining if your own conduct is unwelcome. "Would my behavior change if someone from my family was present?" Also, "Would I want my spouse or child to be treated this way?" People that commit sexual harassment sometimes do not realize that they are even doing it. There is not room in the world today for sexual talk in the workplace with anybody. Two main forms of sexual harassment that occur frequently in the workplace are quid pro quo and hostile work environment. Quid pro quo harassment is latin for "something for something." And example of this is when an employee is asked either directly, indirectly or submits to a sexual advance in exchange for some benefit at work. Hostile work environment is when harassment makes the work environment intolerable because constant sexual, gender base activity or comments interfere with an employee's ability to do their job. This is when a hostile work environment has occurred. Other forms of harassment involve pinups, asking a co-worker for a date more than once, rude treatment of a man or women, and intentional touching. There are actions that you can take to stop harassment if it happens. Initiate action...
Bibliography: Equal Opportunities Commission Homepage. Retrieved 5 May 2004
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