Frequently Asked Questions - Chapter 16: Sexual Harassment

Chapter 16: Sexual Harassment

What happens when it's one person's word against another's?

These cases are the most difficult to resolve. A thorough investigation is critical.

What conduct may not be sexual harassment?

  • A single unwelcome sexual comment or advance.
  • A supervisor who makes a few mild advances for a few minutes, stops, and apologizes with apparent embarrassment.
  • A small number of minor incidents is less likely to constitute actionable sexual harassment.

What happens to employees found guilty of sexual harassment?

It depends on the seriousness of the incident. The appropriate corrective action may include a strong verbal warning, written warning, transfer, administrative leave, suspension, demotion, firing. Generally, you would take the same types of action taken for other forms of employee misconduct.

What are some examples of sexual harassment?

  • A supervisor makes sexually explicit comments and propositions the employee.
  • A female custodian is subjected to derogatory and vicious jokes, pornographic and demeaning cartoons, and naked photos with her name written on them, posted in public view.
  • A supervisor offers an employee a better job, extra help, or reclassification in return for sexual attention or threatens to take adverse action for refusing.
  • A coworker repeatedly asks an employee out on a date and makes sexually suggestive comments to the employee.