Type: Exploratory
Pages: 9 | Words: 2408
Reading Time: 11 Minutes

Sexual harassment in the working environment has become an alarming issue regardless of the widespread awareness of its jeopardy. In the United States of America majority of the businesses have been greatly affected by sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is a type of discrimination against an individual of the opposite sex. Sexual harassment is a process of intimidating and bullying other people because of their sexual nature. Moreover, the harasser could request for sexual favors in exchange of a reward. In the modern society, sexual harassment is perceived as an offence. According to the legal settings, it is an offence to harass an individual based on his or her sexual nature. Still, undesirable sexual advances and annoying remarks concerning an individual’s sex are taken to be forms of sexual harassment. A harasser in the workplace could utter offensive comments concerning women in broad. Such is perceived as sexual harassment and should be dealt with legally (Alba Conte, 2006).

Sexual Harassment in the Working Environment

Sexual harassment in the workplace could turn to be recurrent and severe creating an unreceptive environment. Consequently, a hostile environment obliges certain employees to quit the job, get fired or demoted. Commonly, sexual harassers in the workplace could be the victim’s manager, co-worker or a client. Globally, sexual harassment is illegal and is a type of sexual and psychological abuse. When the employee is affected psychologically due to sexual harassment, the individual’s work performance derails. The employee feels intimidated and offended and lacks the freedom to contribute effectively in the business. In the working environment, there are certain situations that illustrate sexual harassment. It is offensive to post documents of a sexual nature to an individual in the workplace. Other people employ offensive comments, gestures and clothing to harass certain individuals. Sexual harassers could touch the bodies of their victims, grip their wastes and obstruct their movements. The harasser is likely to affect the working mode of the employee. The employee is commonly offended if sexual advances made by the harasser are unwanted. The employee’s manager could be sexually harassing the employee by insisting on dates that regularly turned down.

On the other hand, the harasser could display sexually suggestive objects and/or play offensive music. In the working environment the human resource managers cater for the welfare of the employees. For instance, where the employee whines to the manager of a sexual harassment, thorough investigation should be carried out. The human resource team should be involved in the tackling of the issue. Sexual harassment could be performed by an individual of any sex. This means that the victim could be the man or woman and the harasser could also be either the man or the woman (Boland, 2005). 

Initially, sexual harassment was not perceived as a form of discrimination in the workplace. The legal society recognized it as a form of romance in the workplace. Sexual harassments in the work environment were isolated incidences until the nineteen seventies. Today people in the working environment realize that they can be sued in the law courts due to sexual harassments.  In the workplace it is the employer’s duty to ensure that the environment is free from sexual harassments. Employers are aware that inhibiting sexual harassment is a legal obligation.

Sexual Harassment in Business Environment

Still, a business environment that is free from sexual harassment experiences tremendous growth. Business growth is determined by the working environment created by the managers. The key component of the successful business is reliable personnel. The workforce in the workplace should be highly inspired in order to contribute effectively to the growth of the business. The employees not only contribute physically but also intellectually. They add brilliant ideas that facilitate the achievement of goals. Sexual harassment in the workplace reduces the morale of the employees. The employees fail to work efficiently causing low productivity. Moreover, the employer is faced with law suits that tarnish the reputation of the organization. These hazards are expected to affect the success of the organization. The employer should be keen to condemn any act that would make an employee feel uncomfortable. Any activity that is sexually suggestive in the workplace and would make the employee offended has the probable of being sexual harassment.

Certain employers in the workplace demand that the employees should be sexually involved with them in order to keep the job. Other employers fail to offer to applicants the job opportunities unless they sleep with them. The employer should primarily consider the qualifications of the applicants without any prejudices. The business environment requires individuals who are highly qualified. Employers who consider employing applicants that submit to their sexual request make opaque judgments. The employers assimilate people that are not experienced and qualified. The business is likely to collapse because it has unskilled workforce. On the other hand, some applicants feel demeaned by the sexual requests from the employers. The applicants experience humiliation because the employer fails to recognize their abilities and qualification (Boland, 2005).  Still, sexual harassment would be continuous even after they acquire the job in the organization. Majority of the applicants opt seeking another job to avoid distress in the working environment. Employers should realize that employees not only derive financial support from the job, but also fulfillment and sense of responsibility. Nevertheless, an employee could make disgracing remarks regarding female or male client to the other employees. If the client realizes the offensive comment from the worker, the individual gets offended and would sue the harasser. The organization loses a client and the employee loses the job. The employee is likely to lose his/ her freedom due to imprisonment. In a working environment such as a law firm, a manager would experience sexual harassment from certain lawyers. Ironically, these lawyers are part of the legal society, yet they break the law. Majority of the female secretaries experience sexual harassments from their managers. The managers make sexual advances and requests at them in the workplace. It is common because the managers regularly interact with the secretaries in order to get their day’s schedules. Many of these secretaries lose their jobs because of declining sexual requests from their bosses. The employers choose to ignore the efficiency of their employees (Alba Conte, 2006).

Sexual Harassment as a Gender-Neutral Crime

Sexual harassment is perceived as a gender-neutral crime. In the workplace men can harass women and vice-versa. Commonly, the people who are harassed are thought to be minor individuals in the organization. According to statistics, majority of the harassers are male. Many claims made in the workplace about sexual harassment originate from women. Clearly, men are more involved in sexual harassment than women the workplaces. On the other hand, individuals of a similar gender could also harass each other. They also harass each other with issues regarding sex. A male employee in the workplace could be attacked with sexual pictures of naked women. It is common that the employee would become uncomfortable in the working environment. Moreover, there are men in the society that are different in their sexual preferences. They opt to engage sexually with other men. Gay men may be demeaned by other employees in the workplace because of their nature. In the US, gays and lesbians have their rights that protect their preferences. Therefore, a sexual harassment victim who is gay has the right to report any incidence of harassment. The employer should be prompt to stop such harassment in the organization.     Sexual harassment is an issue that also affects psychological and emotional state of an individual. Sexual harassment is extremely personal and deep because it involves sex and power. Sexual harassment is a key factor in emotional storms that cause confusion in the workplace. Certain people in the businesses become intensely invested in the business achievement. Eventually, the relationships in the work place become romantic. These close relationships and intensity in the workplace can distort the professional limits and cause people to cross the line. Many people have lacked the clear definition of sexual harassment. Certain questions such as: if the employer requests the employee out for lunch, could that be sexual harassment; whether the vendor could compliment a client and say that she appears hot, or will he get prosecuted, are common among people. People have failed to recognize the difference between sexual harassment and flirting. According to the US federal law, sexual harassment could occur when an employee is handled unfairly because of his/her gender (Saguy, 2003). Sexual harassment transpires when certain job reimbursements are based on whether an employee submits to undesired sexual advances. Sexual advances include accepting dates with a manager, having sexual intercourse with the manager. Certain managers in organizations make professional resolutions based on the silence of an employee’s submission. These resolutions may not be effective for the organization thus suffering financial loses. Commonly, harassment happens when employees feel uncomfortable in the workstation because of sexually charged conduct and comments. Today people often use electronic gadgets for communication. Information posted through the electronic gadgets could be sexually suggestive. On the other hand, sexual harassment also involves treating a given sex contrarily than the former. Still, exhibiting sexualized pictures or entities and making unsolicited sexual advances and offensive comments is regarded as sexual harassment. Characteristically, sexual harassment towards women by men is common in the workplace. However, female-on-male and similar sex discrimination is on the rise. Sexual harassment towards the man in the workplaces is also taking place because of changes in the power positions. In the modern society, women are also taking up higher positions in the workplaces than men. They take advantage of their authority to harass the male counterparts. Commonly, the female managers seem to highly favor the female employees in the workplace. The female employers also grant certain benefits to female and deny the male employees. Benefits and incentives boost the morale of the employees. Granting incentives to certain employees results to imbalanced productivity. Certain departments in the organization could be highly performing than the rest. The organization becomes successful due to full contribution from the entire workforce. Employers should act swiftly in tackling employees’ commentaries and complaints concerning harassment.

Sexual harassment has the potential to build up resentment and limited morale among the employees. Moreover, lack of participation from the workforce would lead to restricted productivity.  Regular sexual harassment claims could land the employer into legal and financial problems. Victims of sexual harassments receive compensations after a formal hearing. Commonly, sexual harassment in the workplace occurs when a heterosexual employee makes undesirable sexual advances to another heterosexual individual of a different gender. In other cases, a homosexual employee could sexually harass an employee of a similar sex (Saguy, 2003). Employers in the workplace could take certain measures to avoid law suits concerning sexual harassments.

Educational Programs for Inhibiting Sexual Offences

In order to inhibit sexual offences in the workplace, the employers need to create written policies. These policies should clearly state the penalty for sexual harassments in the workplace. Formal drafted policies show that the organization is legally protected. The organization cannot be penalized because it took preventive measures to prevent sexual harassment. The employers should ensure that all the employees have an updated copy of written policies. The employer should have the policies modified and updated annually. The employees should sign them in writing to show that they have them in possession. Moreover, the employer should introduce handbooks based on the anti-harassment policies. Employers should avoid taking the risk of tolerating sexual harassments in the organization. Sexual harassments in the workplace can be prevented by creating awareness among the employees. The employer should introduce and implement education programs in the organization (Lightle&Doucet, 2007). During these programs the employees are taught about threats of sexual harassments.

Educational programs in the workplace change the behavior of the employees. Moreover, victims of sexual harassment are enlightened on the ways to overcome the trauma. It helps the victims to overcome psychological effects and return efficiency in their performance. Commonly, sexual harassment victims suffer from psychological stress. Sexual harassment also makes the victim prone to gossips and humiliation from other employees. There should be counseling session in the workplace to aid victims of sexual harassments. Educational programs in the organization make other employees understand the situation of the victims. Therefore, relationships in the workplace build up and become professionally healthy. Training sessions conducted in the workplace should be effective and regular in order to scrap off sexual harassments in the workplaces. During these sessions employees are also encouraged to use the complaint procedure in the organization. Still, the managers in the workplace undergo training sessions annually. These sessions are performed separately from the employee’s sessions. The supervisors are also taught about sexual harassment and ways of coping with it. They are also enlightened on how to solve harassment complaints from the employees. The supervisors should learn the ways of relating with the employees without harassing them. Certain states in the United States of America require the employers to offer training sessions regarding sexual harassments. The employers who have large personnel should take the initiative of offering training sessions (Shrier, 2009).

The employers in the workplace should regularly monitor the employees. It is important to talk to the employees in order to understand the work environment. Communicating to the employees makes it easier to learn about alarming issues. The employees gain the confidence to report issues such as sexual harassments. The employer should also be keen with the poster around the workplace. These posters should solely address issues regarding the business. Moreover, the employer should maintain open communication lines with the supervisors. The supervisors should report about daily transactions in the organization. Furthermore, the employer should handle sexual harassment complaints sincerely. The employer should act promptly to scrutinize the complaint. The employer should penalize the offender effectively. When the employer becomes efficient in actualizing penalties against sexual harassment cases will drop. In order to control harassments in the workplace, the employers should create widespread awareness about sexual harassment. People should have clear definition of sexual harassments to avoid controversies. They should differentiate the difference between flirting and sexual harassment. It is vital that people in the workplace understand the perils of sexual harassment.


  1. Boland, M., (2005).Sexual Harassment inthe Workplace. SphinxLegal: Michigan.
  2. Alba Conte, A., (2006). Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Law and Practice. Aspen Publishers Online: California.
  3. Saguy, A., (2003).What is Sexual Harassment? University of California Press: California.
  4. Shrier, D., (2009). Sexual Harassment in the Workplace and Academia.American Psychiatric Pub: Birmingham.
  5. Lightle, J. &Doucet, E., (2007).Sexual Harassment in the Workplace.Cengage Learning: Connecticut.
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