employment and labor law gender discrimination and sexual harassment

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What is the difference between gender discrimination and sexual harassment? What types of behaviors are prohibited and what types are not?

Gender discrimination is any unequal or disadvantages treatment or an individual or group of individuals based on their gender. Sexual harassment is behavior characterized by the making of unwelcome and inappropriate sexual remarks or physical advances in a workplace or other professional or social situation. These two are very different but do have some overlapping aspects. They overlap when “an employer has a pattern of promoting men over women, unless the female employees agree to the employer’s sexual advances. In this scenario, the employer would be subject to both sexual harassment and gender discrimination laws” (What is the difference between sexual harassment & gender discrimination, 2018). Overall these two are very different due to gender discrimination being that you are being treated differently due to your gender and sexual harassment being when someone makes an unwanted sexual advance or comment towards you. Types of behavior of gender discrimination that are prohibited are gender sterotyping and “gender-plus” discrimination. Some examples of gender sterotyping are if an employer will not promote a female employee even though she has shown great performance for the company and perceiving her as being too aggressive and unfeminie. (Cihon, P. J., & Castagnera, J.,pg 157, 2017). Another example is a man has gender identity disorder and because he does not act “manly” he is ridiculed at work by other employees. Gender plus discrimination is making different requirements for employees based on their gender. One behavior that is not prohibited is allowing employers to hire only employees of one sex, or of a particular religion or national origin, if that trait is a bona fide occupational qualification; most BFOQ cases involve BFOQs based on gender. (Cihon, P. J., & Castagnera, J., pg 154, 2017). Types of behavior of sexual harassment that are prohibited are quid pro quo harassment and hostile work environment. Quid pro quo harassment is that the employee’s submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or that submission to or rejection of such conduct by the employee is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting the employee that the employee’s submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or that submission to or rejection of such conduct by the employee is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting the employee. (Cihon, P. J., & Castagnera, J.,pg 182, 2017). A hostile work environment is when the unwelcoming sexual advances have a negative impact on the employees work and the environment as a whole.

Here’s an article stating all of the misleading myths about sexual harassment and why they are not true. Here is the link to it https://peoriamagazines.com/ibi/2017/dec/heres-what-everyone-is-getting-wrong-about-sexual-harassment-work. When reading through it, many of those myths are what causes people to not report sexual harassment.

References

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SEXUAL HARASSMENT & GENDER DISCRIMINATION? (2018, March 30). In Habbas & Associates. Retrieved from https://www.habbaslaw.com/blog/2018/march/what-is-…

Cihon, P. J., & Castagnera, J. (2017). Employment and Labor Laws (9thth ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Questions for Tutor (responses should be at least 200 words). Also, e-book information will be provided for reference.

(1) What are your thoughts of the article and of the myths?

(2) Organizations often shift these types of investigations to outside law firms specializing in internal investigations. What are the pro’s and con’s of moving an investigation from in-house (i.e., in house counsel or HR operated) to outside counsel? What would be your determining factors if tasked with this decision as an HR professional?

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