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Sexual Harassment

Hi Amy,

What qualifies as sexual harassment in the work place? My boss referred to me as a “broad” to another colleague. I have physical proof of this. There are also other problems with him, such as the fact that he has not paid me and has lied to me about sending out a check, when in fact he never did. He also sent me to job in a place that was not “approved” by his company, I can explain this later, the place was also not physically safe. ..and Im not talking about a loose nail on a board, Im talking about 3 gunshots. He also asked me to transport 2 minors, (we work with children) with out his company having proper insurance to cover this, I of course, declined. I have still not been paid, but this was not really an issue for me, until he called me a broad.

Sincerely,

Kathryn

   

Kathryn,

Sexual harassment actually refers to a very specific act. It either means that you were directly threatened, quid pro quo (i.e. Do this or you will be fired), or that you had to withstand a hostile environment (i.e. Repeated butt pinching or something like that). Sadly, most cases fall through the cracks of this law, because most people fall somewhere between the two: feeling like they can’t really say no, even if it wasn’t a direct threat, and also feeling like they are asked to make lots of compromises.

The EEOC – Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – is the government organization responsible for handling these complaints, and they actually have a pretty thorough process for these cases. But again, they are only checking to see which cases neatly fit into their definitions. Certain workplaces also have their own policies and perhaps your workplace has something that might override or augment this federal policy. I would suggest you consult something like your HR department and see what they say.

It’s so unfair, that so many cases exist where something is wrong, but pinpointing what is wrong and how to define that in law is the actual problem. Good luck and I hope you can find some justice – because even if it’s not illegal doesn’t mean that it isn’t wrong

--Amy