History of sexual harassment
According to Siegel, sexual harassment as a form of sexual discrimination is a social activity that has been there for decades. In the past two decades following the recognition of sexual harassment by the federal courts, a debate is still on regarding it. It is not yet clear why people regard sexual harassment as sexual discrimination. They also do not understand what the court should do about this so-called social activity which seem to unsocial.
In the past sexual harassment was not an issue in institutional lives, it was a social activity or practice as well. This is because there was no one to point it out as a sexual discrimination. This is until the present time where the court made an intervention and passed laws that are against this practice. This is the period where sexual harassment derived its name. In the past sexual harassment was something normal.
In the history, we get to understand that women in the past were sexually harassed in the job place and had no privilege to defend themselves from such an act. The courts of law had not set in place any law against sexual harassment. In this regard, bosses continued to violate women sexually in job place without any prior action taken against them. This act was not a pleasant one for women. It was a psychological or a mental torture to them. It was quite unfortunate that they could not report this problem. They suffered long time without help.
In the few past years, history records that the courts of law recognized sexual harassment as a sexual discrimination. This act of recognition was a momentous one, for it was the first time in history for the women to extract from law a means of fighting an act which they have struggled with for many years.
The law further states that sexual harassment, as a practice is not something new. There is an account of women and men whose livelihood becomes a risk for not submitting to some kind of sexual activities. However, the term sexual discrimination is new in the American culture. This term has just entered American language in 1975, which seems to be too recent. Legal foundation for objecting to sexual discrimination harassment was put in place in 1964. This is in title VII of the Civil Rights Acts. Fair employment practices statutes enacted from most states contributed to the well knowing of sexual discrimination harassment.
At this point, the court did not regard this act as an issue worthily accepted in law. The act of sexual discrimination was in the category of disputes arising between the employee and the harassers. Its solving was as any other case of dispute arising among the employees and bosses. Still, this had not resolved the issue because the act did not stop. It continued even after coming to the knowledge of it and regarding it as a social mischief.
In the 1970s, women raised this issue and publicized through the women group. In 1980s, the personnel Management office issued guidance. The guidance was against sexual harassment and the issuing of warnings as well. Even though this was against this conduct and made it unacceptable, it had no legal enforcement. Equal employment opportunity commission brought an action that referred such to court cases but did not draw national attention.
This practice went ahead until 1964 when the Supreme Court decided the first case in sexual harassment. This was in the Meritor Saving Bank vision, with unknown landmark ruling which did great things towards this action. It confirmed that title VII outlawed sexual harassment and added the law of hostile environmental abuse. The same ruling cautioned the employees to guard against sexual harassment. This rule was extremely good and significant as it was the first time for the court to rule out and bring a course of action against sexual discrimination. This was clear to the employees that their hostile job environment had grown a change and things will be well. On the other hand, the personnel and bosses with such characters were to learn that change was inevitable. They had no otherwise but to practice what was lawful in the society. If they could not abide by the new rules then they had only an option. This was to face the law and receive what they were worthy receiving.
In 1991, the civil rights act provided an expansion of the rights of the compliant who file this action under the court of law to collect $300.000 as compensation and punitive damages. After the introduction of this law, majority of the states tightened the act of sexual harassment and added more penalties on them that would involve in such an activity. This was to reduce such kind of action and provide good environment for the employees.
Ways of Identifying Sexual Harassment
The workers in the work place can identify sexual harassment through threats from their bosses. In this case, the boss may threaten a senior person’s position. He/she literally threatens to terminate your services in the institution or organization without any mistake. If you try to justify yourself, the boss suggests the sexual activity. When such a situation happens then you can identify sexual harassment.
We can identify sexual harassment from the proposals of the bosses to offer a promotion, which is not worthy. Actually unworthy promotion is a promotion to which you do not meet the standards or qualify. Some bosses subject employees who are ambitious to sexual harassment. They make their employees buy a position by allowing themselves misused. This is where they tell them that there is nothing without something, meaning they have to give something for them to gain or receive what they need.
Recognize any sexual unwanted advices, after knowing well that these advances are unacceptable, if it continues it is sexual harassment. This statement states that when someone approaches an individual regarding sexual relationship, there are two possibilities. There is a possibility for this individual to accept or reject it. If the conversation concerning that issue ends at this point then no sexual harassment, but if after an individual has reject the approach and one insists then that is sexual harassment.
Consider requests for sexual favors, this point outlines the situation where someone requests for sex in order for him or her to favor you in a way or the other. An example of such a situation can be as follows; you may be having a mistake that leads to a penalty in the job place and a certain person only knows it. He/she decide to keep the secret under a condition that you accept a sexual request or if not the mistake will have to be reported. This is also a sexual harassment and it may happen in a different way.
One can identify sexual harassment by physical conduct. A shoulder massage is sexual harassment under some cases, for as long as it makes one uncomfortable. Not anyone has permission to message any person even without the acceptability. When someone does such a thing making you uncomfortable, it will be a sexual harassment.
Understand the rules of employment and promotion in your organization, sexual harassment may come in at such a moment when you are desperately in need for a job. If the boss is a victim of sexual harassment, he/she may request you for sex as a gateway of employment. Some may have longed to get a promotion in the job place and they really qualify, but the boss denies them a chance because he/she want to relate with sexually before offering them these positions.
Get to know any unwanted action and guard against it. Do not let yourself to be a victim of sexual harassment. The law clearly states that sexual harassment is any act that violates someone sexually. In an organizational context, it does not matter who is violating who. It is not only a boss violating the juniors. The same can happen to any person at any organizational hierarchy (www2.ed.gov, (n.d))
What to do when sexually harassed in Job place
In the present world, sexual harassment is addressed very well as compared to the past where it was even called a social activity. Besides this, it had no court ruling against it, this made a poor work relationship. It also crater bad working environment that disfavored some of the employees. Currently, all institutions and organizations have laws against such practices. As any organizational setting, they have rules and regulations to govern organizational social activities.
This means they have come up with committees and planned where such reports are presented in an organizational setting. Besides these, the law protects citizens against sexual harassment. This is very serious according to the law, and if you are in the act, you receive a heavy penalty. When an individual is harassed sexually in a job place, he/she should take the right measures. This is by observing the rules and regulation of the job place, then making a report where necessary (equalrights.org, (n.d)).
If reported to a necessary place within the organizational setup and the right action not followed leaving the violator goes without penalty, then the person has to extend the report to a superior authority. A superior authority may mean reporting the case to a law court to provide justice.
In is very important that in any organizational setup, the must be guidelines that states clearly how employees should relate to one another. In addition, measures against sexual discrimination should be set to provide conducive working environment. Those who are found going against the law have to be severely punished. With this sexual harassment will be a story of the past and will not even be told in the present job place.