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Sexual Harrassment within the workplace - Research Paper Example

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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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Sexual Harrassment within the workplace
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Download file to see previous pages 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 ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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