Types of Sexual Harassment
Ohio and Federal Law recognize two forms of actionable Sexual Harassment: (1) ‘quid pro quo’ sexual harassment and (2) ‘hostile environment’ sexual harassment.
‘Quid pro quo’ Sexual Harassment
‘Quid pro quo’ sexual harassment, from the Latin term for "this for that," occurs where an employer or supervisor makes unwelcome advances or requests a sexual favor and the employee’s submission to the unwelcome advances is an express or implied condition for advancement or favorable job conditions. Another case of quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs where rejection of the sexual advances results in a tangible job detriment, such as termination or demotion. Under Ohio Law the company is strictly liable for the offender’s misconduct.
‘Quid pro quo’ sexual harassment can take multiple forms, such as where a supervisor fires an employee for refusing his sexual advances or where a supervisor tells an employee that in order to receive a promotion she must dress more revealing or provocatively.
Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment
Hostile work environment sexual harassment occurs when the harassing conduct was sufficiently severe or pervasive to affect the ‘terms, conditions, or privileges of employment,’ or any matter directly or indirectly related to employment. The harassment must have been committed by a supervisor or the employer knew or should have known of the harassment and failed to take immediate and appropriate corrective action. Unlike quid pro quo sexual harassment, the offender does not have to be a supervisor for an employee to have a claim – only that the supervisor knew or should have known but did nothing to stop it.
Am I a Victim?
Victims of sexual harassment occasionally initially pass off sexual harassment or discriminatory behavior as a boss, superior or coworker just trying to funny or ignore unwanted advances because the aggressor is 'harmless.' However, when it gets to the point that the aggressor's behavior starts affecting the victim's job or personal life, a victim may feel that it is too late, that their failure to take corrective measures early makes them look compliant. However, it is never too late to recognize discriminatory conduct; Ohio and Federal Law protect employees from sexual harassment at work.
If you are a victim of sexual harassment or were discriminated against at the workplace, and would like to discuss your options with an Ohio Attorney, contact Kevin M. McDermott II of McDermott Law LLC at (216) 367-9181. Mr. McDermott will personally assess your case. Call (216) 367-9181 for a Free Consultation.