Workplace sexual harassment is sexual conduct of a sexual nature that occurs in the workplace. It may include harassment based on gender, race, sexual orientation, age, or any other category protected by law. Workplace sexual harassment occurs when a supervisor, manager, or someone else in a position of authority regularly and on an ongoing basis subjected to sexual harassment or made an employment decision based on sexual harassment. This type of harassment is also sometimes referred to as hostile environment. Examples include forcing someone to kiss someone not in their legal capacity, asking someone if they are married, touching someone without their knowledge or consent, making suggestive comments, and other similar conduct.
The most common complaint against workplace sexual harassment occurs in the areas of sexual orientation. The Human Rights Act protects all employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation. Title VII, also known as the Equal Employment Opportunity Act, makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against people based on sexual orientation. Although Title VII does not protect against sexual harassment, many courts have held that it applies to situations where sexual harassment occurs. In addition, harassment based on age is also covered by Title VII. Some courts have applied Title VII to employees who are supervising others under the age of 21, even if the employees are not within the employment of the child’s parent or guardian.
If you feel that you have experienced or witnessed workplace sexual harassment, you should write a statement detailing the events, your experience, and your reaction. You should also make a copy of the paper for your own records. You should keep the paper and the statement in a safe place, such as your home, so that you will not have to worry about what might happen to it should you express your viewpoint or complain to someone about the behavior of the harasser.