• define the types of conduct that may
constitute sexual harassment;
• breakdown of the policy
• make you aware of your obligations as an
employee to avoid engaging in
inappropriate conduct and to report if you
are aware that such conduct may be
• I am using the legal standard to explain - BUT - don’t
just be worried about a lawsuit.
• If you behave inappropriately:
– You can be sued-personally ($$)
– You can get your employer sued ($$)
– You will be embarrassed
– You can lose your job, get demoted etc.
– Your family will find out
“The company expressly prohibits any
form of unlawful harassment based on
race, color, religion, sex, national origin,
age, disability, status as a veteran, or
status in any group protected by state or
• Sexual harassment is defined as:
• sexual advances;
• requests for sexual favors;
• other verbal or physical conduct of a
sexual nature that affects a term or
condition of employment.
Who can inflict?
• Harasser can be an employee, supervisor, supervisor
in another area, co-worker, non-employee,
subordinate, customer, member
• The victim does not have to be the person harassed so
long as the victim is affected by the offensive conduct
• Can be same sex or opposite sex harassment
• Victim can be male or female
• Harasser can be male or female
TWO TYPES OF SEXUAL
• QUID PRO QUO HARASSMENT
• HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT
Quid Pro Quo Harassment
– When a work-related benefit is conditioned expressly or
impliedly on a sexual favor.
• Ex. Spend the night with me and I will promote you.
– This can also occur when the employee is penalized for
• Ex. Spend the night with me or you will be fired.
– Must involve a tangible benefit: hiring, firing, failure to
promote, reassignment with different duties, significant
change in benefits, etc.
Hostile Work Environment
• Unwelcome verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature which
alters the conditions of employment.
• The reporting person must find the conduct hostile, abusive, or
• Does not require a tangible job benefit or detriment
• Can involve more than sexual hostile work environments (i.e.
other protected classes)
– Ex. Racially hostile work environment
– Ex. Religious hostile work environment
Hostile Work Environment
– Belongs to a protected class
– Subjected to unwelcome harassment
– Harassment was based upon a protected
– Sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the terms
and conditions of employment and create a
discriminately abusive work environment
EXAMPLES OF TYPES OF HARASSMENT
– Examples: Offensive comments, jokes, off-color
remarks, comments about another’s anatomy or body
parts or one’s own, discussion of own or other’s sex
life, catcalls or whistling.
– Examples: Offensive gestures, staring, leering, off-
color cartoons, drawings or photos, offensive or off-
color email messages or faxes, graffiti, displays of
pornography or attempting to show pornography to
others, exchange of sexual “gag” gifts, off-color screen
savers or posters.
– Examples: unwanted touching including back or
shoulder rubs, groping, brushing up against someone,
attempting to sit on someone’s lap, hugs, trying to kiss
someone, patting, pinching.
• * The key is that to be unlawful, the
conduct must be offensive and/or
unwelcome to the victim.
• The intent of the harasser is
absolutely irrelevant to a
determination whether the conduct
was offensive or unwanted.
– Why? In the law’s view, it’s all
about the perception of the victim.
Perspective of the reporting
• The conduct is unwelcome if the reporting
person regards it as undesirable or offensive.
• The conduct may be unwelcome even if the
reporting person “voluntarily” submits to it.
• Generally it requires communication that the
conduct is unwelcome, although the repeated
failure to respond to consistent comments and
gestures can be sufficient.
Reasonable person of the
• More common statistically for men to
• For this reason some courts have
adopted a “reasonable woman”
– Conduct many men find
unobjectionable may offend women
With respect to sexual harassment, The Company prohibits the following:
1) Unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, and all other
verbal or physical conduct of a sexual or otherwise offensive nature,
– Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly
a term or condition of employment
– Submission or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for
decisions affecting individual’s employment; or
– Such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating an
intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment
With respect to sexual harassment, The
Company prohibits the following:
2) Offensive language, jokes, gestures,
innuendos, comments, and other sexually
oriented statements as well as pictures,
calendars, graffiti, or objects
With respect to other forms of harassing behavior, The Company
prohibits any behavior that can create an offensive work environment
including, but not limited to:
1)Unwelcome and unwanted advances that are intentional or repeated
2)Behavior that is harmful to employees and employers
-Statements or actions that could be interpreted as racially,
sexually, religiously, or ethnically based
-Any behavior, whether physical or verbal that intimidates,
insults, demeans, or is hostile to the recipient.
-Any treatment of employees in which submission to such
conduct is implicitly or explicitly made a term or condition of
• How do you know if someone is offended or your
conduct is unwelcome?
– You don’t - just because someone seems to
find conduct welcome or does not appear to
be offended doesn’t mean it is safe to assume
that they aren’t.
– The law does not require a plaintiff in a
harassment suit to confront the harasser or tell
the harasser that their conduct is unwanted or
• What is safe to say/do with respect to your
conduct in the workplace?
– Litmus test No.1: Would I want someone
to say/do it to my wife, daughter,
– Litmus test No. 2: Would I say/do it if my
wife, daughter, mother was standing
“If you experience any job-related harassment
based on your sex, race, national origin,
disability or other factor protected under Title VII,
or believe you have been treated in an unlawful
discriminatory manner, promptly report the
incident directly to the Human Resources
Department who will undertake an investigation
within 5 days of filing of the complaint.”
“If you feel that for any reason you need
to report to someone other than the local
management, you may contact the Vice
President of Human Resources
“The employee should make the
complaint as soon as possible after the
alleged incident without fear of retaliation.
Your complaint and all investigation
records of harassment will be confidential
and will be kept confidential to the
maximum extent possible.”
• We cannot help if we do not know there is a problem –
do not assume that the company is aware of the
– Report promptly so the issue can be immediately
addressed before it reoccurs.
– Be specific when reporting to ensure management
– Tell the harasser to stop – if you feel comfortable
• If we work together we can make
sure we have a work environment
free of discrimination and unlawful