At the end of this module, you will be able to:
- Define sexual harassment
- Differentiate between the types of sexual harassment
- Describe the effects of sexual harassment
- Describe how to respond to sexual harassment
The following key questions are answered in this module:
What is considered sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other sexual conduct that affects employment decisions, including hiring, firing, and promoting, or creates a hostile work environment.
What is the most common type of sexual harassment?
Quid Pro Quo is the most common form of sexual harassment. It comes from a Latin term meaning something given in exchange for something else. In a work environment, it translates as anyone with more authority/power telling an employee that a sexual request must be fulfilled in order to avoid harmful job actions.
What is considered to be a hostile work environment?
It is when unwelcome sexual conduct is directed at an employee and that person feels intimidated or offended in the workplace.
What are examples of verbal sexual harassment?
Any unwanted comments, compliments, insults, or jokes, sexual advances, propositions, or suggestions, terms of endearment, profanity, excessive attention through phone or email, unwanted sexual advice, and teasing.
Are there psychological effects from being sexually harassed?
Yes, common effects include, self-blame, self-doubt, humiliation, lack of interest at work, feelings of frustration and powerlessness, fear, anger, loss of trust, and depression.
What should you do if someone is sexually harassing you?
Face the harasser and clearly tell them their behavior is unwanted, document thoughts and feelings and present it not only to the harasser, but to a present witness, and report the incident to a supervisor or HR department.
Below is a transcript of the video sample provided for this module:
Although the two main types of sexual harassment or quid pro quo and hostile work environment, there is a third type that combines the two, sexual favoritism. Sexual favoritism occurs when a supervisor rewards employees who participate in sexual activities but does not reward those who do not, even if those employees were not asked in the first place. This type of harassment blends the issues of submitting to sexual demands in order to receive job benefits with working in a hostile work environment. Sexual favoritism is not always recognized within the court system. In order to qualify as sexual harassment, most courts believe the favoritism must be both widespread and extensive.
Use the additional resources and links below to learn more about this topic:
- U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) – www.osha.gov
- OSHA Safety and Health Topics - https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/workplaceviolence/
- OSHA eTools - https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/safetyhealth/mod4_tools_excerpt.html
- US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – www.eeoc.gov
- EEOC Laws - http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/sexual_harassment.cfm
- EEOC Publications - http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/fs-sex.cfm