Pennsylvania workers might wonder what kinds of actions constitute illegal sexual harassment by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. A court takes a number of elements into consideration when it decides if harassment has taken place. Among these are the frequency and severity of the actions, whether the harassment interferes with an employee’s performance, and if the act is humiliating or physically threatening.
On April 26, a complaint was filed against an agricultural company in Washington that allegedly allowed severe sexual harassment against female employees. The harassment allegedly included demanding that women who wish to remain employees engage in a sexual relationship with the supervisor. This is also known as “quid pro quo” harassment; although, it can also take less extreme forms, such as an executive who is more likely to give promotions to a worker who is willing to have dinner with them. Other claims in the lawsuit were that women were segregated to do a certain type of work and that they were subject to inappropriate touching and requests.
For a company to avoid liability once it has been established that harassment has occurred, the employer must demonstrate that it tried to resolve the issue. It must also show that the harassing employee did not take opportunities offered by the employer to correct their behavior.
A person who is uncertain about their rights in the workplace and whether what they are facing constitutes illegal harassment or discrimination might want to discuss the situation with an attorney. A lawyer may be able to explain what steps the client should take and how to approach a complaint with the employer.