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What are the two different types of sexual harassment?

All Texas employees want and deserve to be treated with respect. Unfortunately, although sexual harassment is illegal under both state and federal law, too many people experience it on a daily basis at their companies. There are two different types of sexual harassment that can occur in the workplace.

Understanding workplace sexual harassment

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), workplace sexual harassment occurs when a person makes unwanted sexual advances or comments of a sexual nature to someone else. These actions, behaviors or comments interfere with the victim’s work performance and can create a hostile, offensive or intimidating working environment.

In some cases, sexual harassment is perpetrated by a supervisor or someone else in a position of power. However, employees may also commit sexual harassment against a coworker. Many victims are women, but men can also experience this type of harassment.

Types of sexual harassment

There are two different types of sexual harassment that commonly occur at work. One is termed a hostile work environment. This can happen when the harasser continuously and persistently makes inappropriate sexual comments or jokes of a sexual nature even after being told to stop. This type of harassment can also happen when someone makes indirect sexual comments about another person to others. Displaying offensive sexual pictures to a coworker is another example of hostile work environment sexual harassment.

The other type of sexual harassment in the workplace is quid pro quo. This takes place when someone in a position of power such as a supervisor, manager or boss demands that an employee have sexual relations with them in exchange for some benefit or to get out of a punishment. For example, a female employee requests a raise she rightfully deserves, but the president of the company demands that she performs a sex act on him or he will not give it to her.

No matter what its form, sexual harassment in the workplace is demeaning and humiliating. No one should have to experience it; however, if it happens to you, you have a right to file a formal complaint with the EEOC.