If you or someone you love is a victim of sexual harassment, find the support and defense you need at the Law Offices of Thomas More Holland.
Are you enduring unwelcome attention in the workplace? Are your supervisor’s or colleague’s comments or behavior creating a work environment that is intimidating or hostile? If so, you may be a victim of sexual harassment.
It’s easy to feel alienated and helpless when experiencing workplace harassment, but you can be empowered when you know your rights and the resources available to you to fight for them.
Definition of Sexual Harassment
Harassment is a form of employment discrimination, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC defines Harassment in general as unwelcome conduct based upon race, color, religion, sex, including pregnancy, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information.
Sexual Harassment falls under the above definition. Specifically, sexual harassment can include:
- Unwelcome sexual advances
- Requests for sexual favors
- Verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature
- Offensive remarks about a person’s sex.
Sexual harassment includes offensive jokes, slurs, name calling or epithets, physical assault or threat, ridicule or mockery, insults or put downs, offensive objects or pictures.
Quid pro quo harassment, in which employment or academic decisions are based on an employee’s or student’s submission to or rejection of unwelcome verbal or physical sexual conduct, also falls under the definition of sexual harassment.
It is unlawful to require an employee to endure offensive conduct as a condition of continued employment, as is any offensive conduct that creates a work environment that a person would consider intimidating, hostile or abusive.
In all situations of sexual harassment, the victim and the harasser can be either male or female. The victim and the harasser can be of the same or opposite sex. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination and it violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Incidence of Sexual Harassment
For the victim of sexual harassment, the workplace can become a lonely place. It’s a place of discomfort, isolation and maybe even fear and danger. But the victim of sexual harassment is not alone in his or her suffering. Unfortunately, sexual harassment is not an uncommon occurrence.
In their 2008 survey of 500 individuals and 92 companies, the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) reported that 54% of survey participants had experienced some form of sexual harassment in the workplace. 27% indicated harassment by a colleague, and 17% by a supervisor. 79% of the victims were women, 21% were men. 12% reported they were threatened with termination if they didn’t comply with the requests of their harasser. A survey published in Cosmopolitan magazine reports that ⅓ of the 2,235 survey participants has experienced a form of sexual harassment.
Evidently, and unfortunately, sexual harassment is not an uncommon problem. The 2008 AWARE survey also reported that 66.6% of the participants were not aware of their companies policies on sexual harassment or of the resources available to them if they were a victim of sexual harassment. It’s important for victims to know they do not stand alone, nor do they need to suffer alone.
What to Do When Faced with Sexual Harassment
If you or someone you love is the victim of sexual harassment, the time to act is now. Sexual harassment is unlawful and a violation of civil rights. The victim should report the violation to the human resources department of workplace where the harassment occurred, then seek personal legal counsel. Victims of sexual harassment need a lawyer on their side, someone who knows the law and has a proven track record of success. At the Law Offices of Thomas More Holland, we have the expertise and experience that victims of sexual harassment need to defend their rights and dignity.
Related Tags: Sexual Harassment | Sexual Discrimination