Equal Opportunity Commission

The U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission states thats:

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.

Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to the following:

  • The victim as well as the harasser may be a woman or a man. The victim does not have to be of the opposite sex.
  • The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, an agent of the employer, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or a non-employee.
  • The victim does not have to be the person harassed but could be anyone affected by the offensive conduct.
  • Unlawful sexual harassment may occur without economic injury to or discharge of the victim.
  • The harasser’s conduct must be unwelcome.


Prevention is the best tool to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace. Employers are encouraged to take steps necessary to prevent sexual harassment from occurring. They should clearly communicate to employees that sexual harassment will not be tolerated. They can do so by establishing an effective complaint or grievance process and taking immediate and appropriate action when an employee complains.


Next: Click on Harassment Prevention in the Episcopal Church


2 Responses to Equal Opportunity Commission

  1. Ronald Cupid says:

    Are there subtle circumstances of sexual harassment? Some could be complaint of a person’s perfume or after shave lotion.

  2. debra says:

    A complaint about perfume or after shave wouldn’t constitute harassment by itself. I would ask the person who is making a complaint what else is happening. Are there other things that are a boundary violation going on? Re: fragrances: I am the kind of person who gets a headache if someone is wearing a lot of fragrance. I have had to let someone know that I am allergic to fragrance and asked her not to wear so much fragrance when around me. Please feel free to e-mail me confidentially to talk more about this if you would like to. saferchurch@gmail.com

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