Employment Law

Sexual Harassment

Posted by on Dec 15, 2014 in Employment Law | 0 comments

There may have been times when an employee or a job applicant (either a male or a female) had been asked by his/her employer or supervisor for sexual favors in return for being employed or promoted. Refusing the employer’s or supervisor’s request may either result to denial of all job benefits and/or non-promotion, or making the work environment hostile, intimidating and offensive.

The first result, which is made possible only by someone who has authority, is called the Quid Pro Quo; the second, which may also be committed by a co-worker, is called the Hostile Work environment. The Quid Pro Quo and Hostile Work environment are forms of sexual harassment identified by the federal government.

According to the website of employment law firm Cary Kane LLP, despite anti-discrimination laws and laws that strictly criminalize sexual harassment in the workplace, many employees still end up as victims of illegal and unjust employment practices. This is partly due to the decision of many victims to keep silent after being victimized through such unlawful behaviors, for fear of losing their job, being retaliated upon, and so forth.

The first work-related sexual harassment complaint that was tried in court happened in 1976. During this same year, a poll was conducted by Redbook, a national women’s service magazine, on sexual harassment in the workplace. Though many may have already heard of various stories where female employees had been harassed, the results of the poll may still have come as a surprise to them upon learning that, of the almost 9,000 women respondents, almost nine of every ten claimed that they had been targets of sexual harassment at the workplace.

An employee who suspects sexual harassment should inform his/her harasser of the unwanted act and then notify his/her employer about the unlawful behavior being committed against him/her. If ever the harassment never stops, the victim can rightfully file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within 180 days from the date when the harassment was committed; another complaint may be filed with the state or federal government.

In a sexual harassment complaint the battle is often between the words of the guilty (who may be the company) against the words of the accuser. Despite the difficulty and the sensitivity of the case, this type of illegal behavior in the workplace will never be known (and the culprit never brought to justice) unless the victim decides to stand and fight for his/her rights.

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