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Sexual Harassment Sexual harassment is a serious problem in the workplace It primarily victimizes women who are harassed by men but sexual harassment can be directed at men and can also be same-sex harassment Sexual harassment demeans the victim can negatively impact performance and can limit progression in a career path Although sexual harassment has gained more public awareness since Anita Hills testimony against Clarence Thomas during his confirmation hearings in 1991 it is still a problem The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission EECO works to stop sexual harassment through Title VII of the Civil Rights Amendment and does work to both educate employers about how to stop harassment and also brings law suits against alleged harassers these steps still are not sufficient to protect people from being victimized by sexual harassment in the workplace Background and Definitions Sexual harassment is of two types quid pro quo and hostile work environment Quid pro quo harassment occurs when a superior expects something for something usually expecting sexual favors in exchange for a pay raise promotion simply keeping a job or some other exchange Garbar What Is Hostile work environment exists when there is unwanted sexual behavior such as sexual advances and touching sexual comments including jokes sexually suggestive material andor objects or other activities that can create sexual tension and stress for the victim Garbar What Is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 includes a prohibition against sex discrimination This is taken by the courts to mean practices ranging from direct requests for sexual favors quid pro quo to workplace conditions that create a hostile environment for persons of either gender EEOC Currently lawsuits filed by the EEOC on behalf of sexual harassment victims are averaging 16000 per year Problems in Enforcing the Law While the law exists to protect victims of harassment and to inhibit incidences of harassment it is still not fully effective One problem is that proving
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