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What constitutes sexual harassment?

On Behalf of | Jun 11, 2021 | Sexual Harassment

Many Denver residents spend most of their waking hours at work, which is why they like to be on good terms with their colleagues and work in a comfortable environment. One way a workplace can become hostile is if an employee is being sexually harassed. This can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual acts, and other physical or verbal behavior that can affect an employee’s performance.

What is considered sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is behavior that is considered unwelcome and unwanted, according to the victim. This differs based on the situation and the people involved. It could be direct or indirect comments, bribes or threats for sexual activity, suggestive jokes, requests for sexual favors or displays of sexually explicit material. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects employees from sex discrimination, of which sexual harassment is a form.

Sexual harassment claims

Sexual harassment claims are of two types. Quid pro quo claims are where employment based decisions, such as promotions and tasks, depend on one’s openness to give into sexual harassment. Submission or rejection could be an implicit or explicit term of the employment. A hostile work environment on the other hand, revolves around the sexual harassment making a workplace offensive or intimidating. This could either be because the conduct is purposefully interfering with one’s ability to work or when the conduct creates a hostile workplace. Courts look at the frequency with which the offending behavior took place, whether the offender was a co-worker or a supervisor, and whether the harassment was directed at one person or more, when determining if sexual harassment took place.

Sexual harassment can have serious emotional and physical ramifications on an employee, which is why many employees decide to fight it. going against one’s co-worker or employee can be daunting, so having an experienced attorney by one’s side can be helpful.