Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of sex or gender discrimination where unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature is made a condition of employment.  This conduct is unlawful if it interferes with an individual’s work performance and creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.  Sexual Harassment is a form of gender or sex discrimination because unlawful conduct relates to a person’s sex or gender, or because of things the harasser associates with a person’s sex or gender.

There are two types of sexual harassment. In some cases, these two types can overlap Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when an employer or supervisor demands sexual favors in exchange for raises, promotions, or other perks, or threatens an employee for failure to provide sexual favors.

Hostile work environment sexual harassment occurs when the working environment is made hostile because of its sexual nature, such as photos, comments, jokes, or other acts of an offensive sexual nature, including physical touching which make the workplace intolerable.  The harassment must be severe or pervasive to constitute a hostile work environment.  Generally, the more severe the harassment is, the less pervasive it need be, and vice versa.