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Sexual Harassment Paper Essay

Define sexual harassment as the term is used legally.
“Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that tends to create a hostile or offensive work environment.” (sexual harassment. (n.d.) West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. (2008). Sexual harassment comes in several different forms from words to touching to gestures something that is present from one person to another person sexually that is not wanted by the other person. This normally makes one person feel uncomfortable in the workplace causing an employee to not feel comfortable at work which all employees have the right to feel comfortable and safe in the workplace. Explain how sexual harassment differs from gender discrimination. Sexual harassment is the act of sexual advances from one person or group of people to another person or group of people whereas gender discrimination is when a person is not afforded the same opportunities as another solely based on the gender male or female. Gender discrimination is unlawful and protected under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, “It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer -(1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; or” (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 SEC. 2000e-2. [Section 703]) Provide the legal definition of “quid pro quo” (also known as “vicarious liability”) sexual harassment. Provide one example of a behavior which could be found to be quid pro quo sexual harassment. According to The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “EEOC’s Guidelines define two kinds of sexual harassment: “quid pro quo,” in which “submission to or rejection of [unwelcome sexual] conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual,”( The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission N-915.048 1/12/90)

An example of this would be when a person sexually harassment another employee but the employee that is receiving the sexual harassment does not do anything about it when they allow this to happen where as another employee would not allow and this employee is then promoted to a better position due to allowing the sexual harassment to go on this person was granted special rewards for allowing the sexual harassment or even acting on the sexual harassment to be promoted, this can also work the opposite way as well say the employee that was sexually harassed file a complaint confronts the person doing the sexual harassment then this person is not promoted or given a raise that is due based on them not allowing the sexual harassment to continue. Provide the legal definition of hostile environment sexual harassment. Provide one example of a behavior which could be found to be hostile environment sexual harassment. The 2nd kind of sexual harassment defines by The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is “hostile environment,” in which unwelcome sexual conduct “unreasonably interfer[es] with an individual’s job performance” or creates an “intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.” ,”( The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission N-915.048 1/12/90) In the hostile environment the person receiving the sexual harassment feels they must allow this to continue and/or comply with the sexual requests all to keep the job they have and/or to continue to receive raises and promotions, even though the employee does not want to do this they have the feeling of pressure and fell they have no other options.

List the factors which contribute to a determination of whether behavior is sexual harassment. 1.The victimized employee alleging sexual harassment must be a member of a protected class—that is, a man or a woman. 2.The complaint must be gender related—for example, a female must assert that there would have been no harassment if she were not a woman. 3.The employee must not have consented to the sexual advances or participated in the hostile work environment. 4.The harassment must be based on sex. 5.The conduct complained of must have had a deleterious effect on the employee’s job. 6.The harassment must have occurred during the scope of employment. (Moran 2011 pg 276.). The 1st factors is speaks to the person needs to be in a protected the class the protected classes are man and woman. The 2nd factor needs to show that gender played a factor had the person not been that gender then it would not of been sexual. The 3rd needs to show that the person receiving the harassment did not agree to the sexual harassment. The 4th needs to show that the harassment is sexual in nature. The 5th needs to show that sexual harassment affected the insured job in some way. The 6th will need to show that sexual harassment took play while the insured was employed with the employer. Explain what situations are considered “severe or pervasive” and why these terms are important. “se•vere adjective \sə-ˈvir\: very bad, serious, or unpleasant : causing a lot of physical pain or suffering : very harsh” (Severe. (n.d.). Merriam-Webster.com) “per•va•sive adjective \pər-ˈvā-siv, -ziv\ : existing in every part of something : spreading to all parts of something” (Pervasive. (n.d.). Merriam-Webster.com)

Some situations that are considered severe and pervasive are touching, joking, commenting, distribution of sexual materials, (Moran 2011) when the items are not warranted and it is asked to stop…. Both of these terms are important together to make the determination if the situation meets the minimum to be determined as sexual harassment. Give the main legal reason why every company should have a valid written policy against sexual harassment (besides the fact it is the “right” thing to do.) The main legal reason is so that it is clearly spelled out in black and white for all employees to see so that at no point can anyone ever say they were not aware of the policy or the rules that guide this policy. The employer needs to put all the steps clearly stated as it rest for the employer to make all attempts that this does not happen. Case Analysis:

I have chosen case BURLINGTON INDUSTRIES, INC. v. ELLERTH to discuss here.

The facts:
Kimberly Ellerth was an employee at Burlington Industries where she was employed for 15 months as a salesperson. Ted Slowik was a mid-level manager over Ellerth with authority to hire and promote with approval from high management. Ellerth alleges that Slowik subjected her to sexual harassment with repeated boorish and offensive remarks with remarks as threats towards less advancement. Ellerth had never reported any incidents prior to filing suit and did receive 1 promotion during her employment as Burlington.

The issue:

The issues are since it was never reported can Burlington be held liable for something they were not aware of and could Ellerth claim be categorized as
quid pro quo harassment and should a claim he vicarious liability or negligence.

The decision:

It was determined that Ellerth has only a hostile work environment claim as the threats from Slowik were never carried out. An employer is negligent, and therefore subject to liability under §219(2)(b), if it knew or should have known about sexual harassment and failed to stop it. Negligence sets a minimum standard for Title VII liability; but Ellerth seeks to invoke the more stringent standard of vicarious liability. Section 219(2)(d) makes an employer vicariously liable for sexual harassment by an employee who uses apparent authority (the apparent authority standard), or who was “aided in accomplishing the tort by the existence of the agency relation” (the aided in the agency relation standard). Given the Court’s explanation that the labels quid pro quo and hostile work environment are not controlling for employer-liability purposes, Ellerth should have an adequate opportunity on remand to prove she has a claim which would result in vicarious liability. Although she has not alleged she suffered a tangible employment action at Slowik’s hands, which would deprive Burlington of the affirmative defense, this is not dispositive. In light of the Court’s decision, Burlington is still subject to vicarious liability for Slowik’s activity, but should have an opportunity to assert and prove the affirmative defense. I {agree or disagree} with the court’s decision because… I agree with the court’s decision due to Ellerth not reporting the incidents. I also agree since no actions were taken by Slowik on the threats made but since I Slowik was n a position of management over others Burlinton does have some responsibility for placing this person in a position of authority.

A good sexual harassment policy will include the following sections, and I have also explained why those sections should be included.

A good sexual harassment policy should include the following Statement that shows the employer is trying to combat and prevent sexual harassment from happing in the work place. An explanation of sexual harassment, outline some issues, use explanations, try to paint a clear picture what is wrong.
Outline the Employers Responsibilities under This Policy make it clear what the employer will due when this brought up including termination. Outline the steps/process to include mediation, grievances, EEO processes and who can be notified of this issue also list some people in upper management so an employee does not feel they have to tell local management if it involves local management. Demonstrate that it is the employee’s responsibility to reports these event even if they don’t involve them. Provide additional resources regarding sexual harassment and work to reiterate that all actions taken within this policy are confidential.

sexual harassment. (n.d.) West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. (2008). Retrieved February 16 2014 from http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/sexual+harassment Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Retrieved February 16 2014 from http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/titlevii.cfm The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission N-915.048 1/12/90) Retrieved February 6 2014 from http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/sexualfavor.html The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission N-915.048 1/12/90) Retrieved February 6 2014 from http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/sexualfavor.html Employment Law for DeVry University [VitalSouce bookshelf version]. Retrieved from http://devry.vitalsource.com/books/9781256431671/id/ch11lev1sec1 Severe. (n.d.). Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved February 16, 2014, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/severe Pervasive. (n.d.). Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved February 16, 2014, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pervasive

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