A definition of sexual harassment
Any sexual overture within the workplace that is unwelcome, counts as sexual harassment.
Legally, there are two types of harassment.
- The first, ‘quid pro quo’ harassment, is where a term of employment is made conditional. The employee has to accept a boss’s unwelcome sexual advances in order to receive a benefit.
- The second is a ‘hostile work environment’ where inappropriate and unwelcome sexual conduct makes life unbearable for an employee.
‘Quid pro quo’ harassment claim checklist
- The demands, comments or advances must have been unwelcome
- The sexual advance must have come from a supervisor or someone with a higher authority
- The ‘quid pro quo’ element can be either implied or explicit. The employer could, therefore, have hinted that there will be consequences if you don’t cooperate, or he could have explicitly said so.
- A tangible employment action must have resulted from the interaction. (The employee was demoted, fired, or refused a promotion.)
- The employer must actually follow through on his threat. If there the employer did not follow through, there is no claim.
‘Hostile work environment’ claim checklist
- Advances, comments, and conduct towards an employee that was unwelcome
- The harassment was based on his/her sex
- It is severe enough to interfere with the victim’s employment and it created a hostile work environment.
- Occasional- or isolated incidents do not count.
- Hostile remarks toward women, but not toward men can also fall under this claim. It needs not to be based on sexual attraction or activity. (In fact, a hostile work environment claim can also be filed on the basis of race, religion, disability or age.)
KJT Law Group can help
You’ve seen the checklists. Do you think you might have a claim against someone for sexual harassment? If your claim can be proved, and sexual harassment is found to have occurred, you may be liable for damages in a harassment suit.
Each situation is different. We can help you make sense of it all and advise you what to do.
Reach out to schedule a free consultation with us today. (818)507-8525; info@KJTLawGroup.com.