sexual harassment

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Related to sexual harassment: sexual assault, sexual abuse, sexual discrimination

sexual harassment,

in law, verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature, aimed at a particular person or group of people, especially in the workplace or in academic or other institutional settings, that is actionable, as in torttort,
in law, the violation of some duty clearly set by law, not by a specific agreement between two parties, as in breach of contract. When such a duty is breached, the injured party has the right to institute suit for compensatory damages.
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 or under equal-opportunity statutes. Once stereotyped as involving pressures brought by one in authority (e.g., an employer, teacher, or ranking officer) on someone in an inferior position, with the aim of obtaining sexual favors, harassment is now recognized as also involving behavior that creates an environment unfriendly to its targets. Thus, sexually explicit or suggestive behavior by male fellow employees may be designed to make a work situation difficult for a newly hired female; the harassers' motive may be mere hostility to female entry into a male "preserve."

In the United States, courts have since 1977 recognized some such behavior as a form of sex discrimination; not only the superior who seeks sexual access but also the employer who fails to restrain the behavior of other employees may be liable to suit. The 1991 Senate hearings in which Professor Anita Hill testified that Supreme Court nominee Clarence ThomasThomas, Clarence,
1948–, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1991–), b. Pin Point (Savannah), Ga. Raised in a poor family, he graduated (1974) from the Yale Law School and became a prominent black conservative active in Republican causes.
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 had made unwelcome advances to her some years earlier when she worked for him, and the "Tailhook" scandal, involving sexual hazing by male officers during a navy gathering in Las Vegas, Nev., in Sept., 1991, brought the issue of sexual harassment to national attention. In 1992 the Supreme Court gave individuals harmed by a school's discrimination (now interpreted as including failure to discipline students who harass other students) the right to sue the school for damagesdamages,
money award that the judgment of a court requires the defendant in a suit to pay to the plaintiff as compensation for the loss or injury inflicted. Damages are the form of legal redress most commonly sought.
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. In a series of 1998 decisions the Supreme Court ruled that employees in the workplace are to be protected from harassment by people of the same sex; that an employee need not suffer a tangible job detriment in order to sue for harassment; and that a company having effective complaint procedures that an employee unreasonably fails to utilize is protected from suit.

Recent debates have centered on, among other things, the apparent wide differences in men's and women's interpretations of sexual talk; on whether schools and colleges can or should impose speech and conduct codes or take other measures to protect students, especially females, from sexual talk or behavior; and on whether pornography is in itself a form of sexual harassment. It is apparent that the interests of protection from sexual harassment and of freedom of speech will continue to clash.


See M. Boland, Sexual Harassment in the Workplace (2007); C. N. Baker, The Women's Movement Against Sexual Harassment (2007).

References in periodicals archive ?
'Women have a legal right to a safe working environment, which was free of sexual harassment and Office of Ombudsperson has a crucial role to play in ensuring effective implementation of sexual harassment laws.'
According to the EEOC, sexual harassment is a form of sexual discrimination that includes behavior such as "unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature ...
READ:Gretchen Fullido sues TV execs for sexual harassment, libel In October 2018, Fullido filed a sexual harassment complaint against the two saying that they sent her text messages "filled with sexual innuendos and even requested sexual favors.
span xml:lang="EN-GBThe project, which is being executed in partnership with Sitawa Namwalie, seeks to start a creative dialogue that will interface photography with diverse topics such as the right to bodily autonomy to promote awareness on sexual harassment. span xml:lang="EN-GBAs an organisation that has a rich history in supporting the creative economy in East Africa, Hivos has supported alternative spaces through art to promote dialogue on sensitive issues such as sexual harassment.
If you have witnessed or experienced sexual harassment inform a manager, the equal employment opportunity officer at your workplace, or human resources as soon as possible.
The measure also punishes the following acts: groping and other forms of unwanted advances; sexual harassment committed online such as sending of unwanted comments online whether publicly or through direct and private messages; invasion of victim's privacy through cyber stalking and incessant messaging; and uploading and sharing without the consent of the victim, any form of media that contains photos, voice, or video with sexual content.
Further, selecting a jury for a sexual harassment case based on demographics is also strategically ineffective.
But the poll also found that 36 percent of nonwhites and 24 percent of millennials, defined as those aged 18 to 34 years old, believe workplace sexual harassment has been less frequent over the past year.
1, 2019 must receive sexual harassment prevention training within 30 calendar days of hire; and
"Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine" explores the influence of sexual harassment in academia on the career advancement of women in the scientific, technical, and medical workforce.