Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Essay

1830 Words Jun 14th, 2005 8 Pages
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a very serious problem that needs to be dealt with effectively. What is sexual harassment? Sexual harassment is defined as a form of sex discrimination, which is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It involves unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, especially when submission to this conduct is made a term or condition of one's employment ( However, sexual harassment is not limited to sexual advances. It also includes the creation of a intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment based on one's sex. Although men also face harassment,
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Although the courts are still debating the details of hostile environment cases, the Supreme Court remains strong it its view that federal law prohibits that type of sexual discrimination. The Court added that "Title VII comes into play before the harassing conduct leads to a nervous breakdown…Certainly Title VII bars conduct that would seriously affect a reasonable person's psychological well-being, but the statute is not limited to such conduct. So long as the environment would reasonable be perceived, and is perceived, as hostile or abusive,….there is no need for it to be psychologically injurious." (Roberts, Mann) Again, this boils down to looking at all the circumstances. The court also needs to look at the frequency of the conduct, it's severity, whether it is physically threatening or humiliating, and whether it unreasonably interferes with an employee's work performance. The court also stated that although psychological harm is relevant, it is not required. Another problem the courts face is: When is the employer liable? In sexual harassment cases based on a hostile work environment, employers are not always automatically liable for their supervisors' conduct. On the other hand, absence of notice regarding the supervisors' conduct does not necessarily insulate employers from liability. Employer's are advised of the standards, and need to adhere to them as best as possible. According to the EEOC, employers are usually deemed to know of

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