Business Law Sexual Harassment
Q: Is there a difference between harassment by a supervisor and a co-worker?
A:Yes. If a supervisor ties your job or job progression to sexual favors, your company is liable for the harassment. For example, a supervisor may state or imply that your job is at stake if you do not meet his demands for sexual attention. Having a sexual relationship with a supervisor is not a legitimate job condition for any legal job. Co-worker harassment is different, since co-workers do not have direct control over your employment. Instead, co-worker harassment typically takes the form of a hostile work environment. A co-worker creates a hostile work environment by asking for sexual favors, making unwanted sexual advances or treating you like a sexual object. In that case your company is liable for the co-worker's conduct only if it permits, encourages, or causes the atmosphere in which the sexual content becomes intolerable to a reasonable employee.
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