Sexual harassment can be described as any unwanted sexual comments or unwanted sexual advances. People think that in a sexual harassment situation that the offender is always a male but that is not the case, females can also be the harasser. There can be several incidents where a male is sexually harassing a female, female harassing a male, female harassing a female, or a male harassing a male. When sexual harassment occurs it can make any situation uncomfortable, especially if the advances are unwelcome.
The EEOC also provides guidance as to some of the circumstances in which sexual harassment can be deemed to have occurred. These include: The victim as well as the harasser may be a woman or a man. The victim does not have to be of the opposite sex. The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, or an agent of the employer, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or a non-employee. The victim does not have to be the person harassed but could be anyone affected by the offensive conduct. Unlawful sexual harassment may occur without economic injury to or discharge of the victim. The harasser’s conduct must be unwelcome. (Howarth 2005)
He increasing number of women in the professional workforce poses a challenge to business managers and executives. Women are sometimes stereotyped by those who believe they aren’t capable of being a good employee. With the addition of women to a male dominated profession, it can create a situation in which women are singled out and made to feel unwelcome because of their gender, regardless of their work performance.
The challenge for professional managers and executives is to break down the inaccurate stereotype attached to women and eliminate the treatment of employees based on gender. Even though common sense and good management practices dictate these must be done, the law also requires it. Under title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, commonly referred to as Title VII, when an employer causes, condones, or fails to eliminate unfair treatment of women in the workplace, liability may be found. A precise definition of sexual harassment is hard to provide, however it is often more easily recognized than defined. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission describes sexual harassment as follows:
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment 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.
Sexual harassment can take two forms. First, whenever an employee is required or requested to engage in or submit to sexual acts as a term or condition of employment, assignment or job benefit. Second, sexual harassment may exist when comments, conduct, or actions of the employer, supervisors, or coworkers creates an unwelcome or hostile...