Definition Of Sexual Harassment In The Workplace
Sexual harassment in the workplace is a kind of discrimination as per US law. It can be treated as discrimination under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. When an employee or employer takes any kind of sexual favors, makes sexual gestures, or proposes physical advancements which are sexual in nature against the wish of another employee, such an act is termed as sexual harassment.
According to the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), in an event when acceptance or denial of such conduct affects the individual’s employment state or performance in the workplace directly or indirectly by building a hostile and offensive work environment, it is said that such conduct can be termed as sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment in a workplace can occur under different situations. For example, making unwelcome comments on clothes, cheap jokes, actions and offensive words to another employee of the opposite sex is included in sexual harassment. Physically touching or making any kind of bodily contact like patting a co-worker’s back, holding an employee around the waist or snooping in a way which hinders the movements of an employee is also another example of sexual harassment. Some other common examples of sexual harassments at workplace are continuous pleading for dates, useless flirting, sending emails or pictures that are obscene or sexually oriented, displaying objects or pictures suggesting sex or playing such music.
Such incidents must be immediately reported to the Human Resources department by the immediate supervisor when an employee reports it. The supervisors must apprise the Human Resources department about the sexual harassment case at the earliest, and they, in turn, should call for an immediate investigation. Once the charge is proved, the accused has to be dealt with.
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