Philadelphia PA Sexual Harassment Attorneys

sexual harrasmentSexual harassment is a type of sex based discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and often arises in employment law. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature if any of the following conditions are met:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term of the condition or employment;
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis of employment decisions effecting the individual; or
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with work performance or creating an intimidating hostile or offensive work environment.

Based on its definition, sexual harassment can include a wide variety of behaviors and circumstances. Typically the harasser is in a position of power, such as the supervisor of the victim, and the harassment can be either public or private. There are two main types of sexual harassment, as follows:

  • Quid Pro Quo- Quid Pro Quo is a Latin term meaning “this for that.” This type of sexual harassment arises when an employee is offered or denied benefits based on whether he/she submits or rejects unwelcome sexual advances. This type of harassment is unlawful whether or not the victim submits to the advances.
  • Hostile Work Environment- A hostile work environment is the most common type of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment arises when the employee experiences unwelcome comments, advances or sexually offensive materials as a regular part of his or her work environment. The conduct must be severe, pervasive and on-going as to reasonably interfere with an employee’s work performance or it creates an intimidating hostile or offensive work environment.

Employers can limit their liability in sexual harassment claims by having the proper policies and reporting procedures in place to help eliminate and address sexual harassment in the work place.

If you are an employer seeking to limit your liability or sexual harassment claims or an employee experiencing sexual harassment in your workplace, please contact this office for a consultation with one of our experienced Philadelphia Employment Law Attorney.

Contact our Philadelphia law firm with your questions, comments or concerns.