Being harassed or sexually harassed at work should never be tolerated, and the legal system has many protections in place for victims of harassment at work. If you are suffering at work because of another employee’s behavior toward you, then you should take some time to understand how the law defines sexual harassment at work so that you can apply it to your specific situation.
There are two types of sexual harassment at work that are recognized by the law. Therefore, you should consider your situation carefully and see where your case fits.
Quid pro quo sexual harassment
Quid pro quo harassment is a form of harassment that involves itself with power and authority. It is a case where a person of influence or managerial power misuses their standing to demand the toleration of any type of sexual behavior. This does not need to be repetitive or consistent behavior. For example, if your boss asks you to engage in any sexual behavior in return for a job-related reward and it happens only once, this constitutes sexual harassment under quid pro quo.
Creating a hostile environment
If an employee through his or her unwanted sexual behavior has created an environment that is “hostile,” then it can constitute sexual harassment. This could be a wide range of different types of behaviors, from verbal comments to physical touching.
If you have been a victim of sexual harassment at work, then it is important to recognize your right to report it. You should also remember that when you file a complaint with your employer, you have a legal protection from retaliation.
Source: FindLaw, “Sexual Harassment at Work,” accessed Dec. 28, 2017