Have you been a victim of any type of sexual harassment? Lets take a look at what the law considers sexual harassment at the workplace.

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Quid Pro Quo and Hostile Environment are two categories of sexual harassment.

Quid Pro Quo sexual harassment

Quid Pro Quo means in Latin “this for that”. Some examples could be of a supervisor offering better pay, better benefits or position under the condition of unwelcome sexual advantages. This type of harassment could come also from any other supervisor from the workplace, a co-worker, an agent form your employer or even a non-employee related to your employer.

Some of the consequences the harassed employee could confront if they don’t agree to welcome these sexual advantages are termination, demotion, threats, less desired tasks. The harassment can also be seen from man to woman, woman to man, and same-sex. 

Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment

This type of sexual harassment is more subtle because many people don’t think they are being subject to a hostile work environment. Mainly because the harasser doesn’t necessarily offer better benefits or positions in exchanged to unwelcome sexual advantages. This harassment is instead defined as unwelcome sexual behaviors such as sexual comments, images, or any other sexual content. Your supervisor or harasser can be showing pictures with sexual content creating a hostile environment you don’t want and are not subject to be either. 

There is one additional type of sexual harassment that also many people don't realize exists:

Non-Direct Harassment

In this type of harassment, the victim is affected by witnessing the misconduct visually or auditory. One good example is if a co-worker of a direct sexual harassed victim has to witness the unwelcome requests from the harasser, perhaps because is in the same department. Other types of instances could be overhearing a lewd joke, passing by and see sexual content in pictures from another co-worker’s phone or computer. 

No matter what type of sexual harassment in the workplace, you might be subject to, it should not be tolerated. If you have experienced sexual harassment, the following links could help you with further steps:

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

What To Do If You're Being Sexually Harassed At Work

7 steps to take if you think you’re being sexually harassed at work

"But the issue of sexual harassment is not the end of it. There are other issues - political issues, gender issues - that people need to be educated about." Anita Hill