Sexual Harassment

According to U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission “it is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person’s sex. Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person’s sex. For example, it is illegal to harass a woman by making offensive comments about women in general. Both victim and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the victim and harasser can be the same sex.”

Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted). The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.

If you or someone you know experienced sexual harassment at work call for a free consultation today: 847.241.1299.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) describes sexual harassment as a form of gender discrimination that is in violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Furthermore, the Society for Human Resource Management has reported  that 62% of companies now offer sexual harassment prevention training programs, and 97% have a written sexual harassment policy. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), sexual harassment is a clear form of gender discrimination based on sex, a manifestation of unequal power relations between men and women. In addition, the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) has also noted the seriousness of this issue, and urged for “measures to protect women from sexual harassment and other forms of violence or coercion in the workplace.” However, Currently, approximately 11% of claims involve men filing against female supervisors.

Below some statistics provided by Louis Harris and Associates on 782 workers revealed:

31% of the female workers reported they had been harassed at work

7% of the male workers reported they had been harassed at work

62% of targets took no action

100% of women reported the harasser was a man

59% of men reported the harasser was a woman

41% of men reported the harasser was another man

f the women who had been harassed:

43% were harassed by a supervisor

27% were harassed by an employee senior to them

19% were harassed by a coworker at their level

8% were harassed by a junior employee

Call for a free consultation:

Employers may be legally responsible for sexual harassment against their employees and liable to them for damages; however, liability depends on the type of harassment, and who committed it.

Harassment by a supervisor:  If the harassment results in an employment action against the victim (such as firing, demotion, or unfavorable changes in work assignments), the employer could be liable.   The employer may also be liable if the harassment creates a hostile work environment. Besides, each party has to show that it take all reasonable steps to work out the issue.  It may have a possible defense if the employer can show that it took reasonable steps to prevent and promptly correct the problem, and the employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of the company's preventive or corrective measures.

Harassment by a co-worker: The employer may be liable if it knew, or should have known, about the harassment. This cause of action is comparable to negligence. The employer may not be liable if immediate and appropriate corrective actions were taken to remedy the problem.

Studies suggest anywhere between 40-70% of women and 10-20% of men have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. A 1999 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management states that 62% of companies offer sexual harassment prevention training programs, and 97% have a written sexual harassment policy.

Call for a free consultation today: 847.241.1299



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