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Sexual harassment policy

Originally Published:
Oct 2016

Sexual harassment is a specific form of unlawful abuse that no enterprise can endure in any form or fashion. All companies should have a clear written sexual harassment policy in place and it should be equally enforced at all levels of the organization.

From the policy:

Sexual harassment is a form of unlawful employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and is prohibited under this company's Hostile Workplace Prevention Policy and Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy.

Sexual harassment occurs when unsolicited and unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment or is used as a basis for an employment decision, unreasonably interferes with an employee's work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or otherwise offensive environment.

Sexual harassment generally falls into one of two categories:

Quid pro quo harassment: Where submission to harassment is used as the basis for employment decisions. Employee benefits such as raises, promotions, and better working hours are directly linked to compliance with sexual advances. Therefore, only someone in a supervisory capacity (with the authority to grant such benefits) can engage in quid pro quo harassment. Examples: A supervisor promising an employee a raise if she goes on a date with him or a manager telling an employee she will fire him if he does not have sex with her.

Hostile work environment: Where the harassment creates an offensive and unpleasant working environment. A hostile work environment can be created by anyone in the workplace, whether it be supervisors, other employees, contractors, or customers. Hostile work environment harassment consists of verbiage of a sexual nature, unwelcome sexual materials, or even unwelcome physical contact as a regular part of the work environment. Texts, emails, cartoons, or posters of a sexual nature, vulgar or lewd comments or jokes, and unwanted touching or fondling all fall into this category.

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