Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: A Growing Controversy Executive Summary This paper discusses the controversial issue of sexual harassment in the workplace. It defines sexual harassment as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours and other verbal or physical conducts of a sexual nature to another employee against his or her wishes”…
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Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment is subjecting the victim to hostile conditions which directly target the victim’s sexuality, making the victim unable to work properly. Another point that this paper discusses is the legislation against sexual harassment. Sexual harassment claims have been given more attention after the high profile case of Anita Hill against her former employer, Clarence Thomas. Hill’s courage in exposing Thomas is one great example of a strategy to dissuade perpetrators of sexual harassment from carrying on with their malicious behaviour towards their co-workers. Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: A Growing Controversy The workplace is one environment where people from different backgrounds come together for a common purpose which is to achieve the goals of the company through the various work tasks delegated to each employee. Various kinds of human interactions happen here. Although mostly professional, workers likewise engage in more personal interactions in order to create a healthy balance. However, for some workers, personal and professional interactions may be blurred either deliberately or not. In some cases, employees may be embroiled in interactions that are uncomfortable for them. These interactions may be sexual in nature, and point to issues of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is a growing controversial issue in the workplace that needs to be dealt with and eliminated in order to maintain a positive work environment where harmonious relationships and high productivity should prevail. Definition of Sexual Harassment According to the guidelines of sexual harassment from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it consists “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours and other verbal or physical conducts of a sexual nature to another employee against his or her wishes”. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), adds that sexual harassment occurs "when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment." The term “unwelcome” in the definition of sexual harassment gives rise to a lot of confusion because it may be subjective. However, it is important to understand how the unwelcome behaviour makes the other person feel to determine if it is really sexual harassment. In other words, what may be considered a harassing behaviour to one person may be simple social interaction to another. The line between work and social interaction in the workplace can easily be blurred. And that makes monitoring harassment all the more difficult. Schultz (2003) commented that in the book of The Bureau of National Affairs, sexual harassment definition includes, but is not limited to, "sexual innuendoes, sexual propositions, jokes of a sexual nature, sexually suggestive cartoons, suggestive or insulting sounds, leers, sexually related whistles, and obscene gestures. In addition, pinching, brushing against another person's body, and subtle pressure for sexual favours is considered harassment." The discussion section notes that "different people have different ideas as to what constitutes sexual harassment" and warns that the following acts may be considered harass
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The name was often used as a pet name. The other employees in our department then picked up the same and the employee the name was the order of the day. The employee has now brought a claim for sexual harassment under the title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; This paper seeks to look at sexual harassment in the workplace under the above title, and the provisions that cover offensive language that amounts to sexual harassment in workplaces.
The author states that before the late 1970s, the issue of sexual harassment had not been completely explicated within the constitution. Resultantly, most of the ladies were overtly fearful of disclosing their sexual harassment matters and occurrences at their workplaces since they feared being put to blame for being provocative.
The paper also analyses the question of whether women are the main victims of harassment as well as whether sexual harassment is a global issue. The final part of the paper will look into examples of women rights at the work place and ways to eliminate sexual harassment at the work place.
According to the report physical contacts and advances, demand or request for sexual favors, sex related remarks, pornography in front of women workers, or any physical, psychological, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature can be attributed as the sexual harassment at workplace. Sexual harassment is considered as employment discrimination.
Until 1964 and the inclusion of such behavior in the Civil rights Act under Title VII, courts generally avoided the issue as an inappropriate responsibility to “delve into interpretations of human behavior” (Achampong, Preface IX). With the changes instituted by the 1964 Act, courts not only became responsible for interpreting what actions constituted sexual harassment, but found themselves virtually inundated with cases which previously would likely have been swept under the rug.
This is both a tacit cultural understanding as well as written law within the nation. As a function of this, many individuals have pointed to Saudi Arabia as being one of the most repressive regimes in the world with regards to the rate and extent to which female liberties are experienced within society.
Sexual harassment is on the rise at work places. Sexual harassment has been defined as sexual advances without consent, sexual favor requests, physical or verbal conduct which is sexual in nature and inclined to creating offensive or hostile working environment (Swisher, 1994).
Sexual harassment is considered as a public embarrassment and humiliation where the harassed may be blamed for her dress and lifestyle at times.it is unfortunate that the harassed normally become under scrutiny and this really interferes with their reputation and dignity.
Some view sexual harassment as a symbol of male dominance, while others perceive it as a typically undisruptive form of interaction (Paludi, 1999). The problem is that the label has been used to such a variety of behavior that its definition and implication has been largely reduced.
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