Sexual harassment is a term that became increasingly popular for the past forty years. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides that all companies have a legal responsibility to provide a harassment-free workplace for their employees. To provide such an environment, it is important that the company understands exactly what sexual harassment is, how to recognize it, and how to investigate any reports about sexual harassment in the workplace.
The term sexual harassment often raises the vision of the male authority figure cornering female employees. Even though it might be a situation, and most cases involve male abuse, sexual harassment cases stretch the second spectrum of sex and all sexual orientation.
Sexual harassment can be broken down into two categories: blatant and underlying acts. Blatant acts only need to happen one time to be considered sexual harassment. This includes things like: assaults, touching, or requiring an employee to do something in order to receive something.
Less blatant acts can be much more difficult to recognize. These include things like: commenting on another’s physical appearance, talking to a person in a way that is inappropriate, gestures, displaying pictures or drawings that are disturbing to others, remarks, and even looks that are troublesome to others. For an action to be considered sexual harassment the victim must find the actions and or comments unwanted or threatening.