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Sexual Harassment And Discrimination

Sexual Harassment and Discrimination laws

discriminationsWe’ve combined sexual harassment and discrimination in one section because sexual harassment is considered a form of sex discrimination. Both practices are illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The Civil Rights Act provides basic legal protection against employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. The American Disabilities Act of 1973, prohibits employment discrimination against individuals with disabilities. The Age discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) bans age discrimination. Currently, there are no Federal laws that prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. If the employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) passes, however, this will change.

We will strive to make this section a source of guidance and information. Let us know what we’re missing. Let us know what you need.

Sexual Harassment*

  • It’s not flattery
  • It’s not funny
  • It’s not your fault

Sexual harassment is against the law.

Have you experienced any of the following at work:

  • Suggestive comments about your appearance?
  • Unwanted touching or other physical contact?
  • Exposure to pornographic pictures?

If you have experienced any unwanted verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, you are not alone. This behavior is considered sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is not your fault.

Sexual harassment is not about sex, it’s about power. Such behavior is designed to humiliate and control. It’s not only offensive – it’s against the law.

Sexual harassment is illegal even if the harasser is not your boss or is not threatening that you will loose your job if you don not go along.

What the Law says:

  • Sexual harassment is unwanted, repeated sexual attention at work.
  • Sexual harassment is illegal if:
    1. Your job depends on your going along with this behavior, or
    2. The conditions of your employment (such as pay, promotion, vacation) depend on your going along with this behavior, or
    3. The harassment creates a hostile or offensive work environment which interferes with your ability to do your job.

What You Can Do:

Here are some steps to take if you are being sexually harassed on the job:

  1. Say no clearly.
  2. Document the harassment.
  3. Get emotional support.
  4. Document your work.
  5. Look for witnesses and other victims.
  6. Explore company channels.
  7. File a complaint.
  8. Consult an attorney.


About Annette Richmond, MA

Annette Richmond, MA, CARW, CCELW, is a Certified Resume Writer, Certified LinkedIn Profile Writer, and former recruiter. Her career advice has been featured by Huffington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Business Insider, Monster, Vault, and WSJ. She helps motivated, senior level professionals tell their unique career story. She also serves as executive editor of career-intelligence.com.


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