How you define sexual harassment in workplace? When do you know that casual passes the limits of normal relationships with your Co-Workers or Bosses? Will you report it, if you see it or suspect it?
Sexual harassment can be any or all of the following:
- Unwanted physical contact.
- Inappropriate jokes, pictures, gestures or comments.
- Requests for sexual favors.
There are a lot of tricky things about this phenomenon that is punished by California anti harassment law. Sexual harassment victims in the workplace know only too well the embarrassment and misery that this issue can bring.
Sexual harassment is an unwelcome sexual oppressive conduct at workplace that creates an intimidating work environment, or invasive working environment. Any conduct of a sexual nature that makes an employee uncomfortable has the potential to be sexual abusive.
Sexual harassment can range from persistent offensive sexual jokes to inappropriate touching to posting offensive material on a bulletin board. Sexual harassment at work is a serious problem and can happen to both men and women.
Forms of Sexual Workplace Harassment
- Quid Pro Quo harassment – If you’ve been asked to provide sexual favors in order to be hired, or to keep your job. The person doing the harassing is someone who has the ability to make or influence employment decisions.
- Hostile Work Environment Harassment – This type of harassment involves harassment of the employee based on his or her gender. In these types of harassment, an employee has to deal with offensive sexual comments, physical contact or other offensive materials. The hostile work environment can be created by supervisors, managers, co-workers, or customers.
How You’re Protected by EEOC Guidelines Hostile Work Environment?
Employees are protected with the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended. It appears in volume 42 of the United States Code; beginning at section 2000e. The code is applies to the companies with 15 or more employees. Employees in smaller companies are usually protected under similar state anti discrimination laws. While federal law prohibits both opposite sex and same sex harassment, not every state protects against same sex harassment.
Factors in determining whether you’ve stressful work environment:
- The frequency of the conduct.
- The severity of the conduct.
- Suggestive remarks, sexual jokes or compromising invitations.
- Whether the harassment is physically threatening or humiliating.
- Whether the harassment unreasonably interferes with your performance and working.
- Whether the alleged harasser was a co-worker or supervisor.
- Whether others joined in perpetrating the harassment.
- Whether the conduct was verbal, physical or both.
Strategy That Implies To Stop Intimidating Work Environment?
If you are sexually harassed at work don’t stay silent and hope that the harassment will go away by itself.
- First, you should personally try to end it. If you feel uncomfortable facing the harasser face to face. Write a letter or email letting him to know that you want the behavior to be stopped. Many people are not aware that their behavior is offensive to others. Drawing their attention towards the offensive action may be enough to stop it. If you write a letter, make a copy. If you write an email, send it from a company email address.
- Stand up, confront and discuss the harassment with your HR representative or another person who is not involved in the harassment.
- If that doesn’t work, look at your employee handbook or manual and see what policies the company has in place. And take your complaint to that level. Be sure to follow all company protocols dealing with sexual harassment. At each step, if you don’t get the proper response from management, continue escalating the complaint to higher authorities.
- Write everything down. Take notes on the harassment and be specific in your details. Note down the time and place of each incident, what was said and done, and who witnessed the action.
- File a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). If you believe you have a Title VII claim, you have the right to file a discrimination complaint with the EEOC. The federal agency are charged with enforcing many anti-discrimination laws.
When you follow the company procedures and you document everything you will have better chance to win in the court. Be sure to let everyone know about the situation and document every step.