Sexual harassment is part of the sex discrimination law. The law applies to both local and state governments. Moreover, it applies to labor organizations and employment agencies. How can you know whether you have been a victim of sexual harrassment? Requests for sexual favors, unwelcome sexual advances, and other physical or verbal conduct do constitute sexual harassment. The following are important things you ought to know about sexual harassment:
Meaning of sexual harassment
It can be defined as unwelcome sexual conduct or advances. It includes the quid pro quo or hostile work environment. Any form of sexual conduct that is deemed as inappropriate and unwelcome for the workplace is considered to be sexual harassment. It can take various forms such as dirty jokes, sexual jokes, sexual advances, emails, drawings, or physical harassment. Also, sexual demands in the workplace are considered to be sexual harassment. It can come from supervisors, owners, co-workers, or even managers. It can also occur at parties and office functions.
Who is liable?
Both employees and employer can be held liable.
Quid pro quo sexual harassment
This type of sexual harassment takes place when a supervisor or another person with authority over the job demands sexual favor from you so that he or she can give you a promotion, raise, or another benefit. You should note that demand for favors can become explicit. For instance, “if you become my girlfriend, I will promote you,” or, implied physically such as fondling or touching.
How to prove it
You are required to prove that a person who has authority over you such as supervisor, implicitly or explicitly conditioned a job benefit such as a business trip, salary increase, based on your acceptable for sexual conduct. It is your task to demonstrate that the person who harassed you has the authority and he or she can change conditions of your contract. Also, you need to prove that sexual conduct or advances were unwelcome.
How to prove that it was unwelcome
The law requires that the conduct ought to be unwelcome. Therefore, you should have explicitly rejected the advances. Moreover, you ought to have suffered emotional distress, avoided the harasser, the work performance deteriorated, informed your family or friends about the harassment. Remember that every case is unique and may not need the above examples.
Remedies for quid pro quo
If you can prove the case, or you were deprived of a given job benefit such as termination of employment, failure to promote, because of refusing sexual demands, you can recover the damages.