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Employment Law and Sexual Discrimination

What is Sexual Discrimination within the Workplace?

Sexual discrimination, which is also termed ‘sexual harassment’, is the unlawful employment discrimination that occurs in the workplace when an individual is treated unfairly in comparison to similarly situated employees based solely on the individuals’ gender

There are two types of sexual harassment that permeates today’s workplace. The first is coined: ‘quid pro quo’ and is defined as: when an employer makes unwelcome sexual advances, and requests sexual favors as a condition for employment and promotions upon the employee.

The second form of sexual harassment within the workplace is the creation of a ‘hostile’ working environment. This can include continual and unwanted sexual advances, physical contact, or offensive working conditions.

What Laws of Protection are Available for Employees?

Employment discrimination based on an individual’s sex and sexual harassment are illegal under the Civil Rights Act, and applies whether the person who is being harassed is a male or female, even if the harasser and victim are of the same sex.

What you may not know, however, is that an employer can be held accountable for the sexual harassment by supervisors and other employees whether or not they knew it was happening. An employer is responsible for maintaining a proper working environment for all of its employees.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, recognizes sexual harassment as a true form of employment discrimination that exists today and governs the laws set forth to protect employees from such discriminations in the workplace