Hostile and intimidating

30 May

A single instance of harassment is sufficient to sustain a quid pro quo claim (e.g., a superior demands you kiss her/him in order to keep your job), while a pattern of harassment is typically required to qualify as a hostile work environment.

Hostile work environment harassment is grounds for legal action when the conduct is unwelcome, based on sex, and severe or pervasive enough to create an abusive or offensive working environment.

Sexual harassment at work is a serious problem and can happen to both women and men.

Both state and federal laws protect employees from sexual harassment at work.

If either quid pro quo or hostile work environment harassment can be proven, employers may be liable for compensatory (monetary loss, pain and suffering) and punitive damages.

Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) defines workplace sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances or conduct of a sexual nature which unreasonably interferes with the performance of a person's job or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.

You should write down each instance of harassment as they happen.

This includes specific information, in addition to date and time, such as the people involved, onlookers if any, their reactions, how the event made you feel and affected your work and general well being, etc.

Human Resources and Supervisors If there is no lessening of the harassment after personal appeals to stop, then escalate your complaint to the next level.

Be sure to follow all company protocols dealing with sexual harassment (and document everything to show that you took every action the company recommended).