Two Types of Sexual Harassment

1391 words | 5 page(s)

Problem: Organizations have the responsibility to create and establish an environment that is free from any sort of harassment. One of the most common forms of harassment in the workplace is sexual harassment (EEOC, n.d.). Sexual harassment has an immense impact on the productivity and output of the employees in the organization.

Thesis Statement: This research paper is going to look into the types of sexual harassment as defined by the EEOC. It also shows the current status of sexual harassments in the workplaces today.

puzzles puzzles
Your 20% discount here.

Use your promo and get a custom paper on
"Two Types of Sexual Harassment".

Order Now
Promocode: custom20

Over the years, both men and women have experienced some sort of sexual harassment at their workplaces. The individual or group of people committing the sexual harassment can either be a superior, a co-worker, or even a client in that particular organization (McCann, 2013). Unfortunately, many employees do not know even when they are sexually harassed. Here are the types of sexual harassment. According to EEOC (2015), over 12,000 complaints on sexual harassment where filed officially.

Types of Sexual Harassment
According to the EEOC (n.d.), hostile environment and quid pro quo are the two major types of sexual harassment that you will find in a workplace. The obligation of the employee to the law depends on correctly differentiating between the two types of sexual harassment.

Quid Pro Quo Harassment
This type of harassment occurs when rejection of or submission to such a conduct by a person is used as the basis for decisions on employment affecting the individual. This type of harassment includes the removal or negative impact on particular job benefits such as: salary increases, employment, promotion, work assignments, or shifts.

Hostile Work Environment
This type of sexual creates a hostile, intimidating, and/or offensive workplace environment. If the victim at the workplace tries to resist or stop the sexual harassment, and they are impacted by threats such as denied employment, demotion, employment termination, then that constitutes as a hostile environment sexual harassment.

If an employee feels he or she is being sexually harassed in anyway, then they should first inform their immediate harasser of their feelings (Rogers, Vladeck, & Practising Law Institute, 2016). Secondly, they should head to the superior or HR manager to file complaint. All the employees have rights and it the employers’ duty to ensure that their employees have and are aware of the respective channels that are available to them to file any sort of sexual harassment grievances.

Sexual harassment is against the law and occurs frequently and in many different places and situations; especially in the workplace. Certain forms of teasing and comments that are offhand or isolated are not considered under the laws regarding sexual harassment. However, any sexual remark or sexual advance by one person to another (i.e. employer to employee) that continues or creates a hostile work environment, falls under laws prohibiting such behavior.

Sexual harassment first became a cultural issue in the early 1990s. Court cases gained national media attention which sparked much controversy and commentary from the public on what warranted sexual harassment. One in particular occurred in 1993, Saxton v. American Telephone and Telegraph Company (George, 2016), in which a female (Saxton) accused her employer of sexual harassment. The court ruled against Saxton on the grounds that the claims made against her employer were not pervasive or aggressive enough to warrant charges. Although this was a blow to Saxton, this case initiated a fierce conversation about sexual harassment and pushed this newfound cultural issue into the spotlight.

As details surrounding the tenets of sexual harassment began to emerge, more and more individuals came forward with claims they had been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace. Sexual harassment was adopted under the umbrella of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (George, 2016) as was considered a form of discrimination. The EEOC backed the measure by defining sexual harassment and giving employers guidelines to follow in this area.

Types of Sexual Harassment
There are two types of sexual harassment that are most common are quid pro quo and hostile work environment. Both are similar in that they occur in the work environment. According to Brase and Miller (2001) quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when threats are made by an employer to employee in order to get her to comply with sexual advances or risk demotion or losing her job. An employee may comply in order to ensure she does not lose her job and will be reluctant to tell anyone she is being sexually harassed.

This form of sexual harassment is used by an employer who is seeking power and control over another individual. It can occur in both men and women employers who use sex as a weapon. Perpetrators of this kind of sexual harassment can be an employer, a supervisor, a subordinate of a supervisor, or a coworker (Brase & Miller, 2001). Quid pro quo is difficult to prove because it often occurs in one-on-one situations where there are no witnesses. It becomes a he said/she said scenario. Unless an employee has solid proof they are being threatened with demotion or loss of employment by a supervisor, it can make their case circumstantial.

The other type of sexual harassment is one where a hostile work environment is present. This results when an employee is harassed by an employer or someone in authority in a sexual manner that can range from using obscene and vulgar language to making inappropriate advances. Unlike quid pro quo, an employee is not at risk for losing their job, however, they are constantly harassed to the point that it makes them uncomfortable. Perpetrators can become aggressive and persistent in their efforts to sexually harass their victims. According to Tompkins (2015), Title VII legislation has had an impact within the workplace forcing many places of employment to adopt sexual harassment policies.

What once was solely resigned to the workplace, sexual harassment has evolved to nearly all areas of life from schools, churches, and public places. The potential of sexual harassment resides most any place where there are sexual predators and perpetrators looking to prey upon vulnerable innocent, unsuspecting victims. While sexual harassment is more concentrated between someone in authority and their victims, the commonality is that it occurs in places where there is a hierarchical system. These environments provide the perfect setup for sexual harassment to occur especially if it involves members of the opposite sex working in close proximity with one another.

No matter the circumstances that initiate sexual harassment, it is wrong. Making sexual advances or forcing someone to have sex against her will by threatening a loss of employment, demotion, or smearing her reputation if advances are not met, are examples of quid pro quo sexual harassment. It is possible for both quid pro quo sexual harassment to lead to a hostile environment due to the mounting tension that arises between the perpetrator and victim. The way to stop sexual harassment is to speak out against anyone who exhibits this type of behavior in the workplace. No one should ever be so afraid of losing their job or live in fear if they are subjected to sexual harassment. The only way to stop it is if people come forward when they have experienced it. There is no job so important that one should remain silent if they are being victimized with sexual advances.

  • Brase, G. L., & Miller, R. L. (2001). Differences in the perception of and reasoning about quid pro quo sexual harassment. Psychology, Evolution & Gender, 3(3), 241-264.
  • Clarke, P. (2015, July 7). Types of sexual harassment. Retrieved October 12, 2016, from http://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/types-of-sexual-harassment.html
  • EEOC. (2015). EEOC Charge Receipts by State and Basis for 2015. Retrieved September 11, 2016, from https://www1.eeoc.gov/eeoc/statistics/enforcement/state_15.cfm
  • EEOC. (n.d.). Facts about sexual harassment. Retrieved September 11, 2016, from https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/fs-sex.cfm
  • George, A. (2016). The blind spots of law and culture: How the workplace paradigm of sexual harassment marginalizes sexual harassment in the home. Georgetown Journal of Gender & the Law, 17(2), 645-663.
  • McCann, D. (2013). Sexual Harassment at work: National and international responses. Conditions of Work and Employment Programme, (2).
  • Rogers, T. O., Vladeck, A. C., & Practising Law Institute. (2016). Employment discrimination law & litigation, 2016.
  • Tompkins, C. E. (2015). Title VII at 50: The landmark law has significantly impacted relationships in the workplace and society, but Title VII has not reached its true potential. St. John’s Law Review, 89(2/3), 693-807.

puzzles puzzles
Attract Only the Top Grades

Have a team of vetted experts take you to the top, with professionally written papers in every area of study.

Order Now