Non Traditional Sex Harassment and Discrimination In Today’s Workplace

Shedding Light on “Non-Traditional” Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Sex Discrimination

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) prohibits employment discrimination based on sex. Sex discrimination in employment can occur in different ways.

First, it can occur when an employer makes an employment decision based on sex. For example,

  • Firing someone for being a man
  • Providing lower compensation to a female than her similarly situated male colleague
  • Not making a job offer to a fully qualified female
  • Having a policy of not promoting women to managerial positions
  • Having a neutral policy that disparately (and negatively) impacts one gender
  • Refusing to hire a man for a job that requires sensitivity, which you feel is a female quality
  • Providing different benefits to employees of different genders

Sexual Harassment

Title VII also prohibits Sexual harassment, which is a form of sex discrimination. It occurs typically in one of two ways:

Quid pro quo harassment occurs when a supervisor or boss promises a subordinate something in exchange for a sexual act or threatens a subordinate with the denial of an employment benefit for the refusal of a sexual act. For instance, your supervisor says he will withhold your raise if you do not have sex with him.

Hostile work environment occurs when you must endure unwelcome touching, lewdness, sexual propositions, innuendo, jokes or commentary from one or more colleagues, coworkers or supervisors. When such conduct creates an inhospitable work environment, such as making it hard to perform your job or making you feel unsafe, it violates Title VII. Your employer has an obligation to stop such harassment when it occurs.

Sexual Harassment Knows No Boundaries

What do you think of when you hear the term sexual harassment? What picture pops into your head? A woman in a position of vulnerability preyed upon by her strong male boss? A woman relentlessly pursued by a coworker despite her repeated “I’m not interested” emails? A woman who works for a construction outfit suffering through her breaks in a room with pin-ups on the walls?

Most people would probably think of the same things. After all, one of the reasons Congress passed Title VII was to give women protection against the unequal and often inappropriate treatment women were forced to endure in businesses that, at the time, men controlled.

As time has evolved, however, so has the nature of Title VII cases of sexual harassment. We no longer only hear about women begin harassed by men in the workplace. Thankfully for all victims, Title VII applies to a wide variety of sexual harassment situations.

Some situations that were once unusual are either more prevalent today or simply acknowledged in ways that were previously absent. For example,

Contact Us

As you can see from the few brief examples above, sexual harassment knows no gender boundaries. Anyone can be a victim. Anyone can harass. If you have a supervisor or coworker sexually harassing you, you don’t have to face the situation alone. Contact New York employment discrimination lawyers Leeds Brown Law, P.C. and let’s see if we can help you. We can be reached 24/7 at 2-800-585-4658.