While you probably have a good idea of what sexual harassment is and what actions fall under this category, you may not completely understand how the law handles these cases. If you report harassment, it helps to know what will happen and what your rights are under the law. You should know what laws cover your Pennsylvania workplace when it comes to this type of harassment and what you should do if you experience an uncomfortable situation. The more you know, the better you can protect yourself and others from this type of assault.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission suggests when facing sexual harassment that you tell the person directly that he or she must stop and that you do not want the actions to continue. This direct approach makes it clear that you consider this inappropriate and leaves no room for misunderstandings.
You do not have to experience the harassment firsthand. If such actions affect you in any way and you find it offensive, then it includes you as a victim. You have every right to report it and pursue your rights under the law for protection against it.
The EEOC will investigate reports by looking at every detail. This includes the nature of the advances, the context and the circumstances. It makes determinations on a case-by-case basis, which requires a complete investigation into every report.
Protections under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 only apply to employers who have at least 15 employees. Of course, state and local laws, along with company policies often take over where this law does not cover. You should check into applicable laws and policies if you work for a small employer.
This information is for education and is not legal advice.