Sexual

Sexual Harassment

#metoo movement on sexual harassment

Courts have categorized sexual harassment into quid pro quo harassment and hostile work environment harassment. Sexual harassment is a violation of federal employment discrimination laws.

Quid pro quo:  A Latin phrase literally meaning something for something.  Courts have used this phrase to describe discriminatory situations where the employer makes sexual favor or sexual conduct for example a condition of the employee’s employment.  Accordingly, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has recognized quid pro quo sexual harassment in its regulations by defining it as follows:

“§1604.11   Sexual harassment.

(a) Harassment on the basis of sex is a violation of section 703 of title VII.  Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, . . .”

Hostile work environment harassment:  Courts have recognized employment discrimination based on sex when the workplace sexual conduct become so severe or pervasive as to make the work environment intimidating, hostile or offensive.  Accordingly, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has recognized hostile work environment harassment in its regulations by defining as follows:

“§1604.11   Sexual harassment.

(a) Harassment on the basis of sex is a violation of section 703 of title VII. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when . . . . (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.”

As noted by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in its regulations, the principles involved with hostile work environment harassment continue to apply to race, color, religion or national origin harassment.