Sexual harassment is unacceptable discriminatory behavior that creates a hostile work environment. It may involve verbal abuse, abuse of power, sexual quid pro quo and assault such as unwanted groping. Workplaces are full of issues relating to discrimination, sexual harassment, racism and unfair dismissal. Federal and State laws have been developed to protect employers and employees in a number of issues. It is also made to provide conducive working conditions for both the employer and the employee. The effects of sexual harassment at the workplace can be devastating to employees’ morale and well-being, causing increased turnover, low productivity and absenteeism. In addition, companies that do not have strict regulations that prohibit sexual harassment may also suffer losses due to lawsuits (Bratton et al., 2020). The consequences of the lawsuit include loss of reputation, low talent attraction and retention and financial losses due to compensations.
Various federal and local laws protect employees from discrimination. However, federal laws prohibit senior staff from discriminating against junior employees or job applicants based on sex, race, pregnancy, disability, age or even their genetic makeup. Correspondingly, federal laws are aimed at protecting the workforce against any form of workplace harassment. Regarding the State labor laws, they tend to be similar to those of federal in regards to labor, but the State extend protections to issues not covered by the federal employment acts like sexual violence and marital related issues.
Bratton, J., Gold, J., Bratton, A., & Steele, L. (2021). Human resource management. Bloomsbury Publishing.