Sexual harassment comes in many different forms, and recognizing this mistreatment in the workplace is key to fighting back against it. The law recognizes two different types of sexual harassment: quid pro quo harassment and a hostile work environment.
Quid Pro Quo Harassers Use Your Career To Coerce You Into Sexual Activities.
Roughly translating to “something for something,” quid pro quo harassment occurs when a supervisor, manager or other person in a position of power offers employment opportunities in exchange for sexual favors. They may also threaten to cut an employee’s pay, terminate their position or punish them in other ways if they refuse. Even a single incident of this harassment is illegal.
This harassment is illegal even if victims do not refuse the advances. For example, if an employee does not want to go on a date but does so because they fear that their career could suffer if they do not. As the American Bar Association notes, victims can take action against this harassment as long as the attention they received was unwanted and their employment was at risk.
A Hostile Work Environment Impacts Your Daily Work.
The other form of sexual harassment, a hostile work environment, can come in many different forms. This type of harassment occurs when pervasive sexual comments, requests, advances or behavior cause a workplace to become a toxic place for an employee. This can include:
- Sexual jokes
- Sexual favoritism
- Display of sexually inappropriate images or text
- Repeated, unwanted sexual attention
- Impeding an employee’s ability to move freely
- Persistent touching
If this behavior is ongoing, it can create a destructive and abusive environment.
Sexual harassment can have a significant impact on your daily work, your career and your life. By reporting this illegal behavior, you can fight for fair treatment for yourself and for others in your workplace.