Sexual harassment is an age-old problem and something that is not as uncommon as some people may think. This form of sex discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Under Title VII, sexual harassment describes “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct.”
The behavior of sexual harassment in the workplace does not have to be of sexual nature. It can also include offensive remarks about a person’s sex. Because it takes many forms, sexual harassment can sometimes be missed or misunderstood. It is important to identify harassment in the workplace as it can be traumatizing and stressful for the victim.
Things to think about
There is important information to know about sexual harassment that can help you identify it. Even if the intent wasn’t towards you, you can still be victim to sexual harassment. The harasser can be a colleague, a boss or manager, contractor or even a non-employee – customer.
It is important to understand your protection. Title VII applies to those who work with 15 or more employees. The law also protects you from retaliation after making a sexual harassment complaint. Many women may not file sexual harassment claims because they fear losing their job or experiencing retaliation. This also applies if you help in a co-worker’s case. You do not need to be afraid of giving a witness testimony in fear of retaliation.
Prevention is the best way to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace. Employers may want to consider implementing a sexual harassment policy in their employee handbook. It should be clear that there is no tolerance for harassment in your place of work.
Training may also be an important part of preventing sexual harassment. Managers should receive training on how to deal with the complaints. There should be an open communication among the workplace. Keep an eye on the environment and treat all complaints seriously.
Men and women have the right to protection in the workplace. It could benefit you to educate yourself on ways to recognize sexual harassment in the workplace and how to stop the unwanted behavior.