Sexual Harassment, Understanding the Basics

Sexual Harassment, Understanding the Basics

The term, sexual harassment is by itself, a form of discrimination, that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In ubiquitous terms, the phrase Sexual harassment, (Which is, from a daily news perspective, almost impossible to avoid now days), essentially describes unwelcome advances of a Sexual nature, or quid pro quo, requests for sexual favors, in exchange for advancement, or other more subtle forms of verbal or physical conduct. This also includes jokes, offensive remarks & insults, which aren’t directly related to the term, “sex”, however, a person’s origin, age, disability, race, ethnicity, religion, & Sexual orientation are all included in this broad blanket of the term harassment.
 
Key Concepts:
  • People consent to conduct they don’t welcome when intimidated.
  • Harassment is about Impact, not Intent. It is sometimes unintentional.
  • Harassment is unwelcome conduct, including all those in the work environment who must witness or overhear the conduct.
 
If you are experiencing harassment at your place of employment, there is a good chance you are intimidated, etc. to take immediate action with your manager or supervisor. The crucial point is remembering you are not alone, and that you do have many options when explaining your situation to your manager or supervisor. 
A discussion with your HR director will help you better identify sexual harassment, advocate for yourself and determine your future direction & decisions. Before you approach your HR Director or manager, remember to take notes on everything, Documentation is crucial.
 
Remember, there are always two sides to every story. For example:
  • Your interaction with the harasser — time, location, details, and witnesses.
  • Your productivity — safeguarding and documenting your productivity at work, can eliminate a “hostile” work environment, & intimidation by the harasser. 
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