Unfortunately, despite gains in the movement for equal rights, sexual harassment in the workplace is an ongoing issue. People in Tennessee who are being harassed at work may need to take legal action after exhausting internal procedures for addressing their situation. Harassment can be very damaging for both women and men alike, as men can also be subjected to sexual harassment. Therefore, it is important for all workers to be able to recognize what constitutes unlawful harassment in the workplace, so they can take appropriate action.
Sexual harassment can constitute unlawful discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, harassment includes unwanted and unlawful verbal or physical acts based on a person's sex, among other protected categories. For example, sexual harassment could take the form of lewd jokes, physical threats, offensive pictures and intimidation. However, certain elements must be met for a person's actions to be considered unlawful sexual harassment.
One way that sexual harassment can be unlawful is if the victim is put in a position where they must endure the offensive conduct if they want to keep their job. Another way that sexual harassment can be unlawful is if it is so ingrained in the company's culture that the workplace would be considered hostile by a reasonable person in similar circumstances.
If a person believes they have been sexually harassed at work, they can reach out to their employer to try to reach a resolution internally by discussing the situation with a supervisor or the employer's human resources department. If that doesn't work, it may be time to file a charge with the EEOC. With the right help, it is possible for victims of sexual harassment to address the issue while protecting their rights.