No conscientious supervisor wants to think that sexual harassment occurs in the areas they oversee. Unfortunately, many managers who really want to do the right thing just don’t recognize it when it happens, and they end up handling grievances or, worse, lawsuits.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines sexual harassment as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.” The EEOC goes on to say that offensive remarks about a person’s sex are included…but “simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents are not prohibited.”
So how far is too far? What is simple or offhand? Take a look at these scenarios and choose how you think each one turned out. You may be surprised by some of the answers.
How Much Do You Know About Sexual Harassment?
Opps, Quiz engine needs updating…
- Sisler vs. Ohio Department of Highway Safety. Ohio.gov, at http://pbr.ohio.gov/pdf/pre1990/89-RED-08-0462.pdf
- Haegert vs. University of Evansville, State of Indiana Appeals Court, at http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/09191109jsk.pdf
- Additional situations drawn from personal communications with business or human resources managers, including Jean Scheid and Bill Richter, and include the writer’s own supervisory experiences.
- State of New York Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board decision, at http://www.labor.ny.gov/uiappeal-decisions/547526-appeal-decision.pdf