Recognizing Workplace Discrimination
Hostile Environment A hostile environment consists of unwelcome
sexual behavior, such as "jokes", cartoons, posters, banter,
repeated requests for dates, requests for sexual favors, references
to body parts, or physical touching that has the purpose or effect of
unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating
an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment. Isolated
acts that are not severe will not rise to the level of a hostile environment.
Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment Another type of sexual harassment
is called "quid pro quo" harassment. It means that you are
asked to perform sexual acts in return for a job benefit. For example,
you will pass probation, get a promotion, get a good performance evaluation,
not be written up for doing something wrong, etc, if you will engage
in some type of sexual behavior.
Gender Harassment The courts also recognize that behavior that
is not based on sexual behavior, but is based on gender is also unlawful
harassment. Typical examples would be comments such as "women are
not brave enough to be police officers," "women should stay
home and have babies and leave policing to real men", etc. These
are all comments that demean women.
Gender discrimination occurs when you are subjected to unequal treatment
in the workplace on the basis of your gender. These are a few examples
of the types of things that may constitute gender discrimination:
Race Discrimination or Sexual Orientation Discrimination
Federal law also covers race discrimination, and it uses standards
similar to those of sexual harassment and gender discrimination. Federal
law does not prohibit sexual orientation discrimination; however,
laws in your state or city may. Federal workers are protected by additional
laws that have been interpreted to prohibit sexual orientation discrimination.
What you can do if you've been
discriminated against >>
Workplace Issues | Recognizing
Harrassment | What You Can Do