Sexual harassment can range from persistent offensive sexual jokes to inappropriate touching to posting offensive material on a bulletin board.
Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) defines workplace sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances or conduct of a sexual nature which unreasonably interferes with the performance of a person's job or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
A single instance of harassment is sufficient to sustain a quid pro quo claim (e.g., a superior demands you kiss her/him in order to keep your job), while a pattern of harassment is typically required to qualify as a hostile work environment.
Hostile work environment harassment is grounds for legal action when the conduct is unwelcome, based on sex, and severe or pervasive enough to create an abusive or offensive working environment.
More importantly, the bad behavior must have been motivated by a legally protected characteristic or class.
sexual harassment, use of derogatory ethnic or religious terms, age or disability related comments, etc.) It is important to note that the Fair Employment Law only prohibits harassment in the circumstances described above.
Table of contents Under the Fair Employment Law harassment in the workplace may be illegal under two circumstances.
The first is when an employer, supervisor or co-worker singles a person out for harassment because of that person’s race, color, creed, ancestry, national origin, age (40 and up), disability, sex, arrest or conviction record, marital status, sexual orientation or military services.
Harassment may include verbal abuse, epithets, sexually explicit or derogatory language, display of offensive cartoons or materials, mimicry, lewd or offensive gestures and telling of jokes offensive to the above protected class members.
The behavior must be more than a few isolated incidents or casual comments.