First, what is sex harassment under Title VII? One of the most important component of sex harassment is that the conduct be unwelcomed and that it affects the victim’s employment or creates a hostile/offensive environment. This means that the victim of sex harassment does not contribute to the sexual advances, comments, etc.
- Please note that sex harassment does not have to be sexual in nature. It can include derogatory comments about men and women in general. For example, comments that one gender is worthless.
- It does not matter if the harasser is a male or woman and the harasser and victim can be the same gender.
- The victim of sex harassment does not have to be the target of the harasser but could be anyone affected by the offensive conduct.
- Sexual harassment allegations can be brought even though the victim has not suffered economic injury or termination.
What to do about sex harassment?
If you are an employee:
- Tell the Harasser to Stop
- Complain to a Supervisor or to Human Resources
- Document your complaints about the harassment
- Contact me if you think the above will lead to your termination or if the above steps do not work
If you are an employer:
- Have an anti-sex harassment policy that is reviewed by all employees
- Have a procedure established to handle sex harassment claims
- Take prompt action to investigate and correct any unlawful conduct
- Contact me to establish a policy & procedure or to investigate the allegations
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