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What is sexual harassment and what can I do about it?

Victims of sexual harassment who are suffering sexual harassment in the workplace have legal protections they should be familiar with. Sexual harassment does not have to be tolerated in the workplace and victims should know what is considered sexual harassment and what they can do about it.

There are generally two types of sexual harassment which may lead to employment litigation. Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when a sexual relationship is demanded in exchange for not firing or punishing the employee or in exchange for promotions, raises or other favors. The second type of sexual harassment is referred to as a hostile work environment. A hostile work environment may be created if offensive sexual behavior is so pervasive that it creates a hostile work environment for the employee to work in.

Certain factors are used to determine if the victim has suffered a hostile workplace. It is important to keep in mind that sexual harassment can exist even if the victim has not suffered an economic injury or if the victim has not been discharged. In addition, the harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, a non-employee or an agent of the employer. The victim or the harasser may be either a man or a woman.

Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of settings and circumstances but it is always prohibited and something that workers do not have to tolerate. Workers have the right to be free of sexual harassment in their workplaces so they should be familiar with the different types of sexual harassment and how they can protect themselves through the legal process.

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