What Are the Different Types of Workplace Sexual Harassment?


Posted by: Chris

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a type of sex discrimination that is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Despite this law, many people across the country still experience sexual harassment at work.

It’s important for workers in Oklahoma to protect their right to work in a safe environment. Part of protecting your rights is learning how to identify sexual harassment so you know when it’s appropriate to file a complaint. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), there are two main types of workplace sexual harassment. Here’s what you should know about quid pro quo and hostile work environment harassment:

Quid Pro Quo

The first type of sexual harassment is quid pro quo, which is a Latin term that means “something for something.” As its name suggests, this type of harassment occurs when one party offers some kind of job benefit to another party in exchange for sexual favors.

For example, a manager may offer an employee a pay raise or promotion if she agrees to enter a romantic relationship with him. Another example would be a supervisor telling an employee that she will lose her job if she doesn’t comply with his sexual advances. In both examples, the victim will receive some type of job benefit as long as she submits to sexual harassment. 

Hostile Work Environment

The second type of sexual harassment is known as hostile work environment. This type of sexual harassment occurs when unwelcome sexual conduct creates a work environment that is intimidating, offensive, or uncomfortable enough to interfere with an employee’s ability to perform their job duties. 

A hostile work environment may or may not involve sexual advances. For example, if a manager constantly attempts to touch an employee in a sexual manner, these sexual advances could create a hostile work environment. 

However, if co-workers often tell sexually offensive jokes or display sexual images in the office, this could also create a hostile work environment. No one has made an unwelcome sexual advance in this example, but it is still a hostile work environment if the unwelcome sexual conduct is severe and occurs frequently enough to interfere with the employee’s work.

Have you been sexually harassed in the workplace? If so, seek legal representation from the experienced attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. right away. Let us fight to recover the compensation you deserve for this violation of your workplace rights. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.