Sexual Harassment & Gender Discrimination by Lina Franco

Lina Franco

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) sexual harassment is illegal in the workplace. Sexual Harassment is a specific type of discrimination that is based on an employee’s gender or sexual orientation. Examples of sexual harassment include:

  • Quid pro quo (Latin, meaning “this for that.”) This form of sexual harassment conditions promotions, advancements, wage increases, special treatment, or favorable work assignments on the receipt of sexual favors and sexual propositions
  • Unwelcome and inappropriate touching
  • Unwanted or unwelcome advances and sexual innuendo
  • Sexually explicit language and jokes
  • Sexually explicit text messages
  • Workplace pornography or sexually explicit material on computer screens, posted on walls, emailed or otherwise passed around the workplace
  • Subjecting individuals to increased criticism or scrutiny, because of their gender or gender identity
  • Compensating an individual less than other individuals because of their gender or gender identity

According to Lina Franco, Sexually harassing acts could be committed by the company owner, a supervisor, a manager, a co-worker, or even a customer. Sexual harassment is not limited to males sexually harassing females; it can be the sexual harassment of a female by another female, the sexual harassment of a male by another male, or sexual harassment of a male by a female. Sexual harassment can also occur based on an individual’s gender identity and sexual orientation. We take the necessary steps to end the sexual harassment and to obtain compensation for the victim.

Quid Pro Quo and Hostile Work Environment

Sexual harassment can be broken down into two larger categories: quid pro quo sexual harassment and hostile work environment.

Quid pro quo involves requests for sexual favors in exchange for special treatment. In exchange for sex, a management-level employee may offer a promotion or a raise. Similarly, a management-level employee may threaten to terminate, demote, downgrade or discipline an employee if sexual favors are not performed. There is no doubt that this behavior is illegal. We make certain that managers and supervisors who conduct themselves in this way are held accountable for the harm they do.

A hostile work environment is created by sexually explicit language and jokes in the workplace, among other behaviors. These actions do not have to be directed against any specific employee for them to be harmful and illegal.   It is also illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee who complains about a sexually hostile work environment, or other sexually-charged behavior in the workplace.


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