Essay on Same Sex Harassment

1650 Words7 Pages
Same Sex Harassment Imagine that you are in the shower of the gym at work and three co-workers enter, then hold you down to the ground while rubbing their genitalia across your bare skin. No matter what the circumstance you would find this behavior appalling and disgusting. Now think to yourself if every person involved had been a male. Would you say that they were just "horsing around?" I hope not. The attitude of American society and legal culture regarding sexual harassment has changed over the last 35 years. Our progressive society has finally decided to look at the issue of whether harassment of a sexual nature by a member of your same gender is included in what Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was trying to…show more content…
Under Title VII there are two kinds of sexual harassment quid pro quo and hostile environment. The first, quid pro quo, is when a person in a supervisory position places the performance of sexual favors as a condition on sustaining or gaining employment or other employment benefits. Harassment of this type holds the employer strictly liable for all damages to the affected employee. The second, hostile environment harassment occurs when behavior by a co-worker or supervisor is pervasive enough to have a negative effect on the employee. The employer is only held liable for hostile work environment harassment when they had knowledge of the situation or the situation was so pervasive that the employer should have known about it. Despite the changing attitude towards sexual harassment in America, the courts have been divided on the issue of same-sex harassment. Several federal district courts skirted around the issue, but one court met this issue head on when Joseph Oncale filed suit in an Eastern Louisiana District Court against his former employer Sundowner Offshore Services, Incorporated. Joseph Oncale, a roustabout on an oil platform for Sundowner Offshore Services, Incorporated in the Gulf of Mexico, was approached in the shower by co-workers and sodomized with a bar of soap. On other occasions, these co-workers, John Lyons, Danny Pippen, and
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