Understanding Sexual Harassment Laws  

       The laws for sexual harassment come under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Under this, sexual advances, asking for sexual favor, or resorting to behavior that is sexual in nature is completed prohibited. However, in practical situations, it is very difficult to actually apply this definition of sexual harassment.

       It has been seen that when it comes to deciding whether sexual harassment actually took place, courts can give different verdicts for cases that are similar in nature.

       If a person is harassed sexually at workplace, there are two types of claim that he or she could be entitled to. They are Quid Pro Quo and hostile environment sexual harassment claim.

       In Latin, Quid Pro Quo basically means 'this for that'. In this type of sexual harassment a person, who is in authority, asks for sex or sexual relationship in lieu of employee benefit such as a raise or job promotion. Even if the employee gives in to the request, it is seen as sexual harassment. However, in court, the employee has to prove that the request by the person in authority was not welcomed. If this cannot be proven, then the court will decide against the employee.

       In hostile environment sexual harassment, the employee has to work in an environment where unwelcomed sexual conduct is constantly present and thereby creating a working environment that is unpleasant and intimidating, and is also tolerated by the management of the organization. Some examples of this type of harassment are posting materials that are pornographic in nature, constantly telling dirty jokes at work or using remarks that are suggestive or sexual in nature.

       However, if employers can show in court that they took steps to fight hostile environment sexual harassment, or that even after having reporting procedures in place, the employee did not make use of them, then they are not liable for sexual harassment claims.

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Understanding Sexual Harassment Laws
 

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