The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
Everyone who has a job needs to know the following basic information about unlawful sexual harassment:
- It is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
- Title VII applies to employers with 15 or more employees.
- If unwelcome sexual behaviors, including advances, touching and requests for intimate favors, interfere with your employment or work performance, or create a hostile work environment, this is sexual harassment.
- Harassers can be male or female, and do not have to be of the opposite sex.
- Unlawful sexual harassment may occur even if you do not lose wages or are not terminated.
- The conduct must be unwelcome. Tell the harasser immediately that his or her behavior is not welcome and must stop.
- If you believe that you are being sexually harassed, report it immediately to your employer via any means available, including following company harassment or grievance policies and telling your supervisors.
- Document in writing all alleged acts of sexual harassment, your efforts to stop the harasser, your reports about the harassment and your employer’s response.
- If you believe that you are a victim of sexual harassment, find out your rights immediately by contacting an attorney who specializes in employment law. The deadlines for filing many types of employment-related legal claims can be very short. It is better to have an early consultation regarding your legal rights and remedies than wait until it is too late.
See U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission “Sexual Harassment” and “Facts About Sexual Harassment”The National Women’s Law Center has an excellent FAQ about sexual harassment at http://www.nwlc.org/details.cfm?id=504§ion=employment. I suggest reading both the U.S. EEOC information and the National Women’s Law Center FAQ very carefully and saving these links as favorites on your browser. The National Women’s Law Center blog, Womenstake.org, is also worth checking out.Hopefully, you will never experience sexual harassment at your workplace. But, in the event that you ever do experience it or know someone who is experiencing it, be educated, informed and prepared, and know your rights.