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Sexual Harassment and Employer Liability

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Introduction

Organizations have an obligation to create a harassment free environment for its employees. Harassment doesn’t have to be of a sexual nature. An organization is liable if the harassment is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in adverse employment actions such as the victim being fired, demoted, or transferred. Harassing a person based on their sex is illegal. Sexual harassment has a great impact on an employee’s productivity as well as poses a major impact on an organization’s finances in litigation.

Productivity is the cornerstone of any organizations profitability. This means that any organization can be deemed productive if all its moving parts are working up to each of their potential. There are many examples of successful organizations that maintain the utmost productivity. All successful organizations have many successful attributes in common that make these organizations successful. When issues arise, they can undermine productivity. Harassment is a major problem that undermines the productivity of the workplace. It interferes with the normal function of its employees, especially to the victim of the harassment. This behavior could impact the productivity of the organization or area where the harassment is taking place. Sexual harassment can cost an organization millions of dollars in lawsuits. It is the organization’s obligation to create a working environment free of harassment and prevent its employees from being harassed.

Sexual harassment laws arose from the rulings in the 1986 case of Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson in which the judge deemed the case had merits in that the alleged sexual harassment was in violation of Title VII o...

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...ent sexual harassment, further supporting an affirmative defense in the event a harassment claim is filed. (Oppenheimer, 2004)

Works Cited

Gregory, R. F. (2004). Unwelcome and unlawful: Sexual harassment in the american workplace. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Johnson, M. W. (2004). Harassment and discrimination prevention training: what the law requires. Labor Law Journal, 119-129.

Oppenheimer, A. (2004, Spring). Investigating workplace harassment and discrimination. Employee Relations Law Journal, 29(4), 55-66.

Zugelder, M. T., Champagne, P. J., & Maurer, S. D. (2006, June). An affirmative defense to sexual harassment by managers and supervisors: Analyzing employer liability and protecting employee rights in the united states. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, 18(2), 111-122. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10672-006-9008-9
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