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Define Sexual Harassment In The Workplace

To define sexual harassment is broad, but usually it leads to purposes of intimidation and hostility among employees, and any discriminating sexual advances or conduct by employers or co-employees can be classified under sexual harassment. What most people don't realize is that sexual harassment nowadays is very prevalent in the workplace.

Sexual harassment doesn't have to be in the form of asking any sexual favors in exchange of benefits at work, but it can also come in different pervasive and unwelcome acts that can create a hostile work environment (sexist remarks, explicit language, demeaning comments, etc.). Because of the organization hierarchy that exists among all workplaces, employers or those who are in the higher levels in the corporate ladder account for the majority of the offenders. Females are the usual target of sexual harassment offenders, and more often than not these offenses do not always get reported for fear of humiliation and threats by the offender. Half of the victims of sexual harassment chose to silence themselves, and only about ten percent of those women actually report these incidents to higher authorities.

Sexual harassment is a blatant violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and employers must have a sense of responsibility of maintaining a conducive work environment for their employees, and that includes making the workplace sexual harassment-free. For employers who do care for the welfare of their workforce, they must have a clear anti-sexual harassment policy in their corporate manuals that defines offenses regarding sexual harassment and the disciplinary actions that will be imposed to the offenders. They must also conduct workshops/trainings at least once a year for employees, managers and supervisors about sexual harassment and how to deal with it (some states actually require employers to do that). Always have a high level of vigilance with what's happening with your workforce and keep your lines of communication open with your co-workers. And make sure that you take the necessary actions immediately whenever there's a harassment complaint that's been raised by any employee. Ultimately, employers should do everything within their authority to dispel all incidents of sexual harassment for a better workplace.

John Luke Matthews is a regular contributor of relevant articles about the jurisprudence of employment. He is part of the Mesriani Law Group and is currently taking information technology studies as well.

By: John Luke Matthews

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