Sexual Harassment in the Workplace


Sexual harassment in the workplace is one of the most burning issues of today’s society. The equality of women’s and men’s rights has brought this issue to the spotlight of public discussion and facilitated the inclusion of sexual harassment to the list of crimes punished by law (Sexual Harassment Support, 2009). According to EEOC (2009), “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment” (EEOC, 2009). The employer is liable for sexual harassment in the workplace if both harassment leads to firing or discriminating the harassed employee or to creation of the hostile working environment.

Scenario Summary

The scenario offered for discussion contains the bright example of sexual harassment in the workplace. All elements of the latter can be observed in the scenario which makes the conflict between Mary and Frank a case of sexual harassment for which the employer should be legally liable. First of all, Frank’s remarks contained openly sexual hints, suggestions, and even threats (Sexual Harassment Support, 2009). Secondly, Frank is a supervisor of Mary’s work and his higher position in the organization gives him an advantage that he unlawfully used for sexually harassing Mary. Thirdly, Frank’s actions created the offensive and hostile working environment for Mary as she was both accused of sexual relations with her boss and threatened by problems in case if she rejects Frank’s sexual advances (EEOC, 2009). Thus, Frank’s actions towards Mary can be considered sexual harassment in the workplace as Mary displayed no interest in Frank’s suggestions and Frank used his higher position to harass his subordinate (EEOC, 2009).

Laws Applicable and Legal Boundaries Crossed

The law applicable to the case is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that provides all members of the human society of the US with equal employment opportunities and defense from any kinds of discrimination, harassment, disparate or offensive treatment. According to the statistics provided by Sexual Harassment Support (2009), the majority of women reporting sexual harassment cases were harassed by their supervisor at the workplace (43% of women), so the case under consideration is definitely the incident of sexual harassment in the workplace (Sexual Harassment Support, 2009). Frank crossed the boundaries of his power as a supervisor and tried to use it for his sexual advances. By this Frank offended a person and threatened her into going to the Human Resources department to report the case and request measures to be taken (EEOC, 2009).

Course of Correctional Activities

The best way to correct the situation discussed in the scenario is to implement the special program in the organization under analysis that would combine both educational activities for employees of all levels and punishment measures for sexual harassers exposed. The educational activities are to include the study of US laws and norms of moral and friendly communication between people. The punishment measures should include fines, firings, and even filing criminal cases against the sexual harassers identified in an organization. Only the combination of preventive educational policies and strict punishment measures can provide the desired effect and help fight sexual harassment in the workplace.


EEOC. (2009). Sexual Harassment. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Web.

Sexual Harassment Support. (2009). Sexual Harassment in the Workplace. Web.

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