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Sexual Harassment in the
Workplace Employee Training
Introduction
• 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
occurring.
Introduction
• 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
Our policy
“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
local law.”
Definition
• Sexual harassment is defined as:
• sexual advances;
• requests for sexual favors;
or
• 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
HARASSMENT
• 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
refusing.
• 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
offensive
• 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
Elements:
– Belongs to a protected class
– Subjected to unwelcome harassment
– Harassment was based upon a protected
characteristic
– Sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the terms
and conditions of employment and create a
discriminately abusive work environment
EXAMPLES OF TYPES OF HARASSMENT
• Verbal
– 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.
• Visual
– 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.
• Tactile
– 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
person
• 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
same gender
• More common statistically for men to
harass women
• For this reason some courts have
adopted a “reasonable woman”
standard
– Conduct many men find
unobjectionable may offend women
Our policy
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,
especially where:
– 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
Our policy
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
Our policy
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
employment.
• 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
offensive.
• 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,
grandmother?
– Litmus test No. 2: Would I say/do it if my
wife, daughter, mother was standing
there?
Our policy
“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.”
Our policy
“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
at__________________.”
Our policy
“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.”
Your obligations
• Obligation as an employee:
– to avoid inappropriate conduct
and
– report if you are aware such
conduct is occurring
Your obligations
• Who do I report it to?
– A Supervisor; or
– Administrator
Your obligations
• YOU WILL NOT BE PENALIZED IN
ANY WAY FOR REPORTING
SUCH IMPROPER CONDUCT
Work together
• We cannot help if we do not know there is a problem –
do not assume that the company is aware of the
problem.
– Report promptly so the issue can be immediately
addressed before it reoccurs.
– Be specific when reporting to ensure management
understands.
– Tell the harasser to stop – if you feel comfortable
doing so.
Work together
• If we work together we can make
sure we have a work environment
free of discrimination and unlawful
harassment.

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Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Training by Shumaker

  • 1. Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Employee Training
  • 2. Introduction • 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 occurring.
  • 3. Introduction • 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
  • 4. Our policy “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 local law.”
  • 5. Definition • Sexual harassment is defined as: • sexual advances; • requests for sexual favors; or • other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that affects a term or condition of employment.
  • 6. 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
  • 7. TWO TYPES OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT • QUID PRO QUO HARASSMENT • HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT
  • 8. 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 refusing. • 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.
  • 9. 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 offensive • 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
  • 10. Hostile Work Environment Elements: – Belongs to a protected class – Subjected to unwelcome harassment – Harassment was based upon a protected characteristic – Sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the terms and conditions of employment and create a discriminately abusive work environment
  • 11. EXAMPLES OF TYPES OF HARASSMENT • Verbal – 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. • Visual – 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. • Tactile – 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.
  • 12. • * 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.
  • 13. Perspective of the reporting person • 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.
  • 14. Reasonable person of the same gender • More common statistically for men to harass women • For this reason some courts have adopted a “reasonable woman” standard – Conduct many men find unobjectionable may offend women
  • 15. Our policy 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, especially where: – 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
  • 16. Our policy 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
  • 17. Our policy 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 employment.
  • 18. • 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 offensive.
  • 19. • 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, grandmother? – Litmus test No. 2: Would I say/do it if my wife, daughter, mother was standing there?
  • 20. Our policy “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.”
  • 21. Our policy “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 at__________________.”
  • 22. Our policy “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.”
  • 23. Your obligations • Obligation as an employee: – to avoid inappropriate conduct and – report if you are aware such conduct is occurring
  • 24. Your obligations • Who do I report it to? – A Supervisor; or – Administrator
  • 25. Your obligations • YOU WILL NOT BE PENALIZED IN ANY WAY FOR REPORTING SUCH IMPROPER CONDUCT
  • 26. Work together • We cannot help if we do not know there is a problem – do not assume that the company is aware of the problem. – Report promptly so the issue can be immediately addressed before it reoccurs. – Be specific when reporting to ensure management understands. – Tell the harasser to stop – if you feel comfortable doing so.
  • 27. Work together • If we work together we can make sure we have a work environment free of discrimination and unlawful harassment.