Sexual Harassment Claims

Sexual Harassment Claims

Where do my rights come from?

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin in all workplaces at the federal, state, and local levels that have 15 or more employers.
First Amendment (protected vs. obscene speech) Miller V. California (1973)

Defining sexual harassment:

Sexual harassment can be difficult to limit in scope because there are many behaviors that may be considered unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. In fact, it does not have to sexually explicit, but it also encompasses comments or gestures offensive to a particular gender. Such examples range from non-verbal harassment to conduct of a physical nature. However, it is important to note that sexual harassment takes on many different forms. It is possible that the harasser is a position of power, but they could also be a co-worker or customer. Additionally, the gender of the victim or the harasser are not limited to the traditional expectations.

Sexual harassment can be discussed in two types:

  1. The most traditional type of sexual harassment is quid pro quo, or sexual harassment that involves power-dynamic within the workplace where sexual favors are used in exchange for employment, promotions, etc.
  2. Habitual verbal and/or physical behaviors contributing to the creation of a hostile or offensive work environment.

Common Sexual Harassment Claims:

  • Unwelcome sexual advances
  • Jokes containing sexual or lewd themes
  • Offensive treatment based on the sex or gender of the victim
  • Visual materials of a sexual nature, including posters, fliers, and bulletins.
  • Direct, or indirect, bribes exchanged for sexual favors
  • Sexually charged language regarding a victim's body
  • Sexual favors in exchange for employment, promotions, unemployment, etc.

Why should I file a sexual harassment complaint?

Reporting sexual harassment may be a very emotional and scary process; however, prohibited retaliation exists to prevent the victim from suffering unfair consequences because of making a sexual harassment report.