Sexual Harassment Training. Just the Facts. Just the Facts. Principles,Concepts and Definitions Sexual Harassment and the Law Handling the Sexual Harassment Complaint Dangerous Words Protecting Yourself and Preventing Sexual Harassment
Just the Facts
Title IX—Education Amendments of 1972
Federal legislation prohibiting sex discrimination in education; file with U.S. Department of Education; can sue privately on own behalf. Types of remedies: Cut-off of federal funding to the educational institution. Institution and officials liable for monetary damages.
Meritor Saving Bank v. Vinson 106 S.Ct.2339 (1986)
The U.S. Supreme Court rules that sexual harassment violates Title VII prohibitions against sex discrimination in employment, and does not have to cause tangible economic harm to be actionable. It defined a hostile environment and delineated between voluntariness and welcomeness.
Title VII—1964: Civil Rights Act
Federal legislation prohibiting sexual discrimination in employment; file with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Types of remedies: Monetary compensation for back pay, lost benefits, and damages; compensatory (e.g. emotional distress) and punitive damages; possible job reinstatement.
Clarkson University of New York did not sexually discriminate against a female receiving clerk or wrongly terminate her, OCR held. The clerk alleged she was verbally harassed by a co-workers and her supervisor. OCR found, however, that the clerk herself engaged in vulgar and abusive sexual language at work and did not object at the time to the only corroborated statement made: “If you are going to get raped, you may as well sit back and enjoy it.” That the statement was not severe enough to constitute sexual harassment, OCR found, holding that the clerk was terminated not because of her gender, but because of excessive absenteeism, poor job performance, a poor attitude and repeated use of vulgar and obscene language.
When responding to a complaint, be careful that these words don’t come out of your mouth:
The following checklist can be used to examine behavior
Purpose: To determine if sexual harassment has occurred, the culpability of the alleged offender, appropriate sanctions or remedies.
How Initiated: Generally the complainant, the institution or a third party writes charges of sexual harassment. Usually invoked when the behavior is serious or repeated and not amendable to informal procedures.
Purpose: To stop the behavior. Should not be used for repeated or serious offenses (e.g. assault).
How Initiated: Must be complainant’s preference to use informal procedures. Generally do not involve written charges.UNC Policy on Sexual Harassment
Investigation: Always required.
Hearing or other due process proceeding: Yes
Outcomes: If harassment is found a variety of sanctions may be applied
Investigation: Complainant and alleged harasser may be interviewed, but usually not extensive investigation is necessary
Hearing or other due process proceeding: No
Outcomes: Generally, harassment stops (or formal processing of complaint is launched). Outcomes may include apology, promise not to repeat behavior, transfer of one party, voluntary resignation of alleged harasser.UNC Policy on Sexual Harassment
Advantages: Sanctions may be invoked; more likely to increase community awareness of problem and institution’s commitment to solving it; may settle credibility issues; creates record in event of future claims
Advantages: Less frightening and litigious; confidentiality easier to maintain; less likelihood of negative publicity; no need to challenge motives or behaviors; may educate harasser; no issues of definition of sexual harassment or credibility or the parties; complainant may play active role in resolution; provides options for complainant and wide range of sanctions; less costly than formal proceedings; usually less polarizing.UNC Policy on Sexual Harassment