Sexual Harassment Laws and Their Impact on the Work Environment

Sexual Harassment Laws and Their Impact on the Work Environment

Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7254-3.ch004
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Abstract

This chapter examines the impact of sexual harassment laws in a work environment. Different contexts are examined with different sexual harassment laws. The most vulnerable individuals are identified. The particular case of Lebanon is inspected where few laws regulate this matter. A comparison is established with the USA. Lebanon and the United States have a different view of sexual harassment. In Lebanon, no clear laws protect women. In addition, Lebanon is more tolerant than the United States. The difference in cultures also contributes in people's willingness to disclose harassment. In the United States, people are used to the concept of right and a judicial system that preserves it. In Lebanon, such a matter is taboo, and people are discouraged from disclosing to preserve their reputation.
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Sexual Harassment In The Health Sector

Sexual harassment is a type of sex discrimination. Equal Rights Advocates (2012), the lawful description of sexual harassment is

Unwelcome verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is severe or pervasive and affects working conditions or creates a hostile work environment.

International Labor Office (2001), “the two principal types of sexual harassment in the workplace included in the definition of the European Communities are ‘quid pro quo’ harassment and the creation of a “hostile working environment” ILO, (2001) defines the two principles as:

  • 1.

    Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment: “Refers to a demand by a person in authority, such as a supervisor, for sexual favors in order to obtain or maintain certain job benefits, be it a wage increase, a promotion, training opportunity, a transfer, or the job itself. It forces an employee to choose between giving in to sexual demands and losing job benefits” (ILO, 2001, p 21, Para.4).

  • 2.

    A Hostile Working Environment: “Refers to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature which interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, abusive, offensive, or poisoned work environment”. (ILO, 2001, p.22, Para.1)

Health service industry is not immune from the problem of sexual harassment. One study proposes that the high occurrence of harassment in health care is linked to the health care industry's divided professional segregation. Prestige and Power are important factors to sexual harassment. (Kaye, 1996)

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