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Sexual Harassment Definition
Any unwanted sexual advances.
A request for sexual favors.
Verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which.
Alarms or annoys you.
Interferes with your privacy.
Creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.
ND Century Code
A person is guilty of an offense if, with intent to frighten or harass another, the person:
Examples of Sexual Harassment:
Telling sexually offensive jokes
Questioning or commenting on someone's sexuality.
Displaying sexually explicit pictures.
Spreading sexual rumors.
Making comments about someone's clothing or body.
Repeatedly propositioning someone when they have said no.
Standing or rubbing against a person.
Making suggestive gestures or noises.
Extorting sexual cooperation.
What the law says about sexual harassment
In the workplace: Title VII Guidelines
In 1980, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued guidelines on what constitutes sexual harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of color, national origin, and sex; therefore, sexual harassment is job discrimination. These rules guide the courts in their rulings on sexual harassment in the workplace.
Types of workplace harassment
Quid pro quo harassment is when a supervisor asks for sexual favors and the victim declines resulting in he/she being fired, demoted, or retaliated against. Threat of these actions by the supervisor also constitutes quid pro quo harassment. The law also applies if a victim is denied a job because she rejected sexual advances.
An employer is liable for sexual harassment by a supervisor in its employ. The victim does not have to prove that the employer had knowledge of the harassment in cases of quid pro quo harassment.
Environment harassment is a hostile work environment that interferes with a victim’s work performance. A hostile work environment may be perpetrated by a supervisor, co-worker, or a non-employee (such as a customer). Environmental harassment includes verbal comments, displays of sexually explicit materials and unwanted sexual contact. Seventy-five percent of all incidents of sexual harassment fall into the category of hostile work environment.
To be illegal, environmental harassment must be severe and pervasive; an isolated remark or event is not enough to constitute a case of sexual harassment. The incident must also be unwelcome.
Employers may be liable for a hostile work environment if they knew or should have known about the sexual harassment.
In schools: Title IX Guidelines
Students are protected from sexual harassment by Title IX of the 1972 Education amendments, administered by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). OCR defines sexual harassment as "verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, imposed on the basis of sex, by an employee or agent of a recipient of federal funds". Again, there are no specific guidelines for what actions constitute sexual harassment.
Title IX protects students from unlawful sexual harassment in all of a schools programs or activities whether they take place in the facilities of the school, on a school bus, at a class training program sponsored by the school at another location, or elsewhere. Title IX protects both male and female students from sexual harassment, regardless of who the harasser is.
Under federal law, any school receiving federal money is required to have a policy against sexual discrimination and notify employees, students, and parents of it.
For further information, resources materials, etc. contact:
ND Council on Abused Women's Services/
Coalition Against Sexual Assault
418 East Rosser Avenue, #320
Bismarck, ND 58501-4046
888-255-6240 or 701-255-6240