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Top 10 Sexual Harassment Articles
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Top 10 Sexual Harassment Articles

Each year, over 10,000 people report being sexually harassed to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Sexual harassment may be difficult to identify and hard to describe, but it is a serious allegation that can have major consequences.

Here are ten articles that identify legal issues related to sexual harassment.

1. Types of Sexual Harassment

When sexual harassment is looked at through a legal analysis, it falls into one of two categories: quid pro quo harassment or hostile environment harassment. Read this article to find out the differences between the two categories.

2. Avoiding Sexual Harassment

Employers can utilize several mechanisms to avoid sexual harassment in the workplace. It is important for an employer to have a company policy in place and then communicate that policy effectively. Some issues that employers will likely want to address are supervisor/subordinate communication, dating policies, and documentation and reporting procedures.

3. How to File a Sexual Harassment Claim

As with many legal issues, there are alternatives to filing a claim in court that may also help you obtain redress. Before suing someone outright, you may want to take steps to resolve the problem within the workplace. However, if that does not work you may be able to file a complaint with the EEOC, and then file a suit if it becomes necessary.

4. Time Limits for Filing a Harassment Claim

In order to file a harassment claim in court, the employee must first file a claim with the EEOC. The EEOC claim must be filed within 180 days of the alleged harassment, however under circumstances the EEOC will allow an extension of up to 300 days. As with any case, it may be helpful to keep a log of the incidents in order to have a record of the exact dates, locations, and available witnesses.

5. When Is an Employer Liable for Sexual Harassment?

Workplace sexual harassment may or may not have a relationship with the actual employer. If the employer had control over the harasser and failed to stop him or her, then it is more likely to be liable. Depending on the structure of the company, policies in place, and situation that led to sexual harassment allegations, the employer may or may not be liable for sexual harassment. One large factor is whether or not the accused is the supervisor of the accuser.

6. Proving Hostile Work Environment Harassment

Depending on the jurisdiction, the plaintiff may have to prove that the employer knew or should have known of the harassment and failed to take immediate and appropriate action to correct it. Whereas, some jurisdictions have found that employers are strictly liable (meaning that the employer may be liable regardless of their knowledge) if a senior-level person uses his or her authority to carry out harassment.

7. Job Favoritism Sexual Harassment

Job favoritism is a fairly new area of sexual harassment law. Job favoritism occurs when a supervisor engages in a sexual relationship with a subordinate provides job-related benefits to that person. Someone who loses out on benefits because of favoritism may not have been the subject of harassment, but may still have a claim of hostile work environment.

8. Sexual Harassment in an Educational Setting

Schools may also have hostile environments necessary for legal action. Title IX protects against sexual harassment in schools and functions a little differently than workplace sexual harassment. Title IX covers admission to educational programs and school athletic programs and extends traditional notions of sexual harassment to more subtle discrimination policies.

9. Damages in Sexual Harassment Cases

Sexual harassment is a form of a tort, which is the law of personal injury. A victim may recover several types of damages including compensatory damages for economic losses as a result of the harassment, emotional damages for pain and suffering because of emotional distress, and punitive damages if the harassment is particularly egregious.

10. False Sexual Harassment Claims

Sometimes someone will accuse another person or company of sexual harassment in order to cast him or her in a bad light or get revenge. An employer or school should take allegations very seriously and make sure to review policies and procedures in place. In some circumstances, an accused may bring charges of defamation or wrongful termination if it is proven that he or she did not engage in sexual harassment.

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Law Library Staff

  • Rachel Wenzel

    LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor

    Attorney at Law