Sexual harassment report essay

In 1964, Congress passed Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. This act prohibited discrimination at work on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin and sex. Congress then created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EECO). Since 1964 there have been many changes in the sexual Harassment laws. In 1980 the U.

S. government reported that they distributed over $189 million for sexual harassment lawsuits adjudicated during the previous two years. By 1987, the total had reached $267 million for the previous two years. By 1994, the government bill had climbed to $327 million for the previous two years. When looking at the corporate or private sector side, in 1988, the cost for sexual discrimination lawsuits topped $15 million for a typical Fortune 500 service or company. The National Association of Working Women told the Washington Post in 2002 that sexual harassment continues to be the biggest single source of complaints from working women. Today, the cumulative costs can come close to $1 billion for the biggest organizations (Valeasquez).

Sexual harassment at work occurs whenever unwelcome conduct on the basis of gender affects a person’s job. It is defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature (preventing). There are two types of sexual harassment, Quid Pro Quo Harassment and Hostile Work Environment Harassment. Quid Pro Quo is when an employee is required to tolerate sexual harassment in order to obtain or keep a job, job benefit, raise, or promotion. The most common type of sexual harassment is the hostile work environment. This is the type that is commonly talked about when entering a job. Hostile Work Environment is when harassment at work unreasonably interferes with or alters the employee’s work performance, or creates a hostile, abusive or offensive work environment.

In determining if a workplace environment is “ hostile”, the following factors are typically examined: Whether the conduct was verbal, physical, or both; How frequently the conduct was repeated; Whether the conduct was hostile or patently offensive; Whether the alleged harasser was a co-worker or supervisor; Whether others joined in perpetrating the harassment; and Whether the harassment was directed at more than one individual (Larson). The most common cased of sexual harassment are male to female. But it can also be from female to male and it doesnt have to be the opposite sex.

The harasser can be anyone from the victim’s supervisor, an agent of the employer, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or a non-employee (Facts). Many people do not realize that the littlest things can be sexually offensive to another. Sexual harassment can be unwanted jokes, gestures, offensive words on clothing, unwelcome comments , touching and any other bodily contact such as scratching or patting a coworker’s back, grabbing an employee around the waist or interfering with an employee’s ability to move, repeated requests for dates that are turned down, unwanted flirting, transmitting or posting emails or pictures of a sexual or other harassment-related nature, displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, or posters, or playing sexually suggestive music, commenting on physical attributes, and using demeaning or inappropriate terms, such as “ Babe”.

The percentage rates and costs of sexual harassment could easily be cut down if people were better aware of what sexual harassment is. Sexual harassment has become so common that some people actually use it as revenge. There have been many cases where an employer or supervisor and employee engaged in some kind of sexual act and then the employee files a sexual harassment lawsuit against the supervisor because he was flirting with another employee and it made her mad. The number of retaliation charges has nearly doubled over the last eight years and more than 27% of all harassment and discrimination claims currently filed contain a claim for retaliation (Johnston).

Harassment also varies depending on the field, but it is in all fields. Clearly some fields are in the newspaper more often than others. In an interview with 20 year old Bridget Gorman, she said work at a fun camp, as a counselor, and thats a place where you would least expect any sexual harassment.

And I have felt uncomfortable at times by comments some people have made to me (Gorman). The American Psychological Association estimates that 71% of working women will be subject to sexual harassment during their business careers, according to a 2002 U. S. Department of Labor report. Below are the percentages of women who have been sexually harassed in different fields. Sexual harassment is not a recent problem, but it is a growing problem. Its a problem that is in every job field; from restaurant work to office work to military and federal work to hospital work. It can happen at any job no matter what or where you do it.

Many employers do have some sexual harassment guidelines that they give out when hiring their employees. This is usually in a handbook form, which only a section is about sexual harassment and they may or may not go over it. In recent cases, many people that were accused of sexual harassment stated that they didnt know what they were doing was considered sexual harassment (Tuttle). Sexual harassment is still a problem in many work places because people dont know exactly what it is-so they use that as an excuse.

That just show the lack of information employers are giving to their employees. A landmark U. S. Supreme Court case, Meritor v. Vinson in 1986, said that employers may be held liable for sexual harassment even if the employer had no idea harassment was going on (Truesdell). This shows that employers cant hide from this to try and keep themselves out of it.

They should always be aware of what is going on and stay on top of the issues in their workplace. Employers need to educate their employees more to let workers know exactly what is considered sexual harassment and if they are being harassed, where they can go and that they don’t have to put up with harassment because it is illegal and should stop. Sexual harassment in the workplace is an ongoing and growing risk to all businesses in the United States. Each year the government is spending more and more money on these cases. Businesses need to begin to manage their risk in this area more wisely. Preventing sexual harassment in the workplace requires a significant investment of time and personnel. However, in the end, these costs will be offset by considerable savings in legal fees and health-care costs.

Companies will also benefit from increased worker productivity. The more comfortable the employees are at work the more efficient everyone will be. A company needs to stand up and take a no-nonsense, forceful position on sexual harassment. It is the right and smart thing to do.