Example: A supervisor tells a subordinate that he/she must be sexually cooperative with him or he/she will be fired.
Unwelcomed sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, physical or visual conduct of a sexual nature constitute "hostile environment" sexual harassment when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
This type of harassment may be engaged in not only by supervisors or managers, but also by co-workers, vendors, or persons who are not even employed by the employer.
1. VERBAL CONDUCT
Making or using derogatory remarks, epithets, slurs, jokes, verbal abuse of sexual nature, conversation filled with sexual innuendoes, commentaries about an individual’s body, comments and questions about a person’s sexual behavior, obscene letters or notes.
2. PHYSICAL CONDUCT
Include touching, assault, impeding, or blocking movements. Massages, rubbing bodies against the other person’s body. Grabbing, kissing, hugging, and other unwanted offensive physical contact. Worst case involves physical assault, including rape.
3. VISUAL CONDUCT
Leering, making sexual gestures, displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures graffiti, cartoons, or posters. Use of the computers to send pornography.
Retaliation for complaining about an employment condition that violates federal anti discrimination laws is prohibited by Title VII. Because you filed or you are a witness in a complaint your employer can not retaliate by giving you a transfer, demotion, termination pay reduction, or poor performance.
When Does an Environment Become Sexually Hostile? To determine that, the courts consider these factors:
1) Whether the conduct was verbal or physical, or both.
2) How frequently it was repeated.
3) If the conduct was hostile or offensive.
4) Whether the alleged harasser was a co-worker or a supervisor.
5) Whether other joined in perpetrating the harassment.
6) If the harassment was directed at more than one individual. No one factor controls. An assessment is made based upon the totality of the circumstances.