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Types and Issues of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

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Executive Summary

            This paper discusses the controversial issue of sexual harassment in the workplace. It defines sexual harassment as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours and other verbal or physical conducts of a sexual nature to another employee against his or her wishes”.  It also describes behaviours related to it. This paper also explains the types of sexual harassment. Some are overt and others are more covert.  Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment threatens a victim of adverse effects on employment if sexual advances of the perpetrator, usually a superior or colleague, are rebuffed.  Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment is subjecting the victim to hostile conditions which directly target the victim’s sexuality, making the victim unable to work properly.  Another point that this paper discusses is the legislation against sexual harassment.  Sexual harassment claims have been given more attention after the high profile case of Anita Hill against her former employer, Clarence Thomas. Hill’s courage in exposing Thomas is one great example of a strategy to dissuade perpetrators of sexual harassment from carrying on with their malicious behaviour towards their co-workers.

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: A Growing Controversy

            The workplace is one environment where people from different backgrounds come together for a common purpose which is to achieve the goals of the company through the various work tasks delegated to each employee. Various kinds of human interactions happen here. Although mostly professional, workers likewise engage in more personal interactions in order to create a healthy balance.

            However, for some workers, personal and professional interactions may be blurred either deliberately or not. In some cases, employees may be embroiled in interactions that are uncomfortable for them.  These interactions may be sexual in nature, and point to issues of sexual harassment. 

            Sexual harassment is a growing controversial issue in the workplace that needs to be dealt with and eliminated in order to maintain a positive work environment where harmonious relationships and high productivity should prevail.

Types and Issues of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

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