Sexual Harassment

Evolution of Law – Sexual Harassment at Work

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has a definition of sexual harassment. The definition is based on a 1992 federal court case, Harris v. Forklift Systems, Inc. In that case, the Court overturned a lower court ruling and clarified the law. Its proposed guidelines for determining what constitutes sexual harassment in the workplace were also released by the EEOC. These guidelines, if adopted, would provide a more detailed guide for determining if a person has engaged in such conduct.

Federal law

The first federal law prohibiting sexual harassment at work was enacted in 1983. This act, known as the Equal Employment Opportunity Act (EEOC) Act, was passed in response to the rise of sex discrimination. In this case, the EEOC had a specific statute aimed at sexual harassment at the workplace. In India, the new law passed by the government imposed tougher penalties for egregious behaviors such as racial discrimination and workplace sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment law

Other recent cases that highlight the evolution of sexual harassment law include Harris v. Forklift Systems and Ellerth v. Burlington Industries. Both of these cases involved a higher-up in the company making remarks about the female manager and suggesting they go to the Holiday Inn to discuss a raise. In another case, Hardy asked female employees to take out his pockets and pick up objects from the floor. In both cases, the employer had no legal basis to defend its actions.

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