Even if you gave into sexual harassment, there are options. A job is there to support families and provide a sense of dignity. No one should manipulate jobs or careers for his or her own sexual pleasure. Unfortunately, the reality is a few have control over the many. Then, those in power use that authority to fire at will and end careers unless someone gives into the sexual harassment. This is illegal regardless if the sexual activity occurs.
About Workplace Sexual Harassment
Quid pro quo harassment typically involves someone in a supervisor-type role. He or she asks or hints at sexual favors in exchange for any type of employment benefit. This could also mean in return for some type of sexual favor the employee would receive more pay, a higher-ranking job, or more seniority within the company.
This is the most common types people see in the media. While this type of harassment doesn’t necessarily have to be between a subordinate and a person of power, it usually is. It is any person with the power to entice a victim into fulfilling sexual demands. These are usually raises, benefits, special deals, recommendations, and certain shifts. Normally, the harasser threatens negative consequences if not fulfilled. These negative aspects can be a demotion, firing, bad shifts or bad performance reviews.
If You Gave Into Sexual Harassment
It should be known that if you gave into sexual harassment, it isn’t your fault. The law will protect you. In 1986, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, that when a boss coerces a female subordinate into having sex it is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Sexual manipulation and coercive promises or threats are forms of sexual harassment. It is still sexual harassment even if sexual relations occurred between a superior and a subordinate. Thus, sexual harassment is any kind of conduct in the workplace that makes sex or sexual issues a factor. There is always an issue of power in any sexual or romantic relationship between individuals in unequal positions.
Also, circumstances change. Even if the sexual conduct was previously okay, that doesn’t mean it always will be. A party could remove consent. Usually, when this happens, retaliation happens. This leads to bias and hostile conduct. For example, when the subordinate employee, usually a female, breaks off the sexual relationship, trouble follows. There may be unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, anger, punishment and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual or threatening nature. When this conduct interferes with the work environment or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment, it is illegal under Federal law.
When you challenge inappropriate workplace behavior you are not just asserting your right to work in a workplace free of sexual harassment, but you are protecting others from harm. If you have experienced sexual harassment in any form in the workplace, you should contact a qualified employment attorney as soon as possible. If the harassment has not stopped after making a formal complaint with your employer, consulting a harassment lawyer is your best option. Your attorney will be able to provide further guidance. Also, he or she can help you file a claim with the EEOC. Then, build a case that will put an end to what you have experienced.