Yes, Federal and state laws prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace. However, victims of sexual harassment outside places of employment may not have the same protection.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Ohio Civil Rights Commission have jurisdiction over these employment matters which include some of the strongest provisions in the nation. These provisions make it unlawful practice of an employer:
- to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s sex;
- to limit, segregate or classify employees in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect one’s status as an employee, because of such individual’s sex.
Title VII of the 1964 Federal Civil Rights Act contains similar provisions.
Court cases challenging sexual harassment are relatively new and have not been decided uniformly. Court opinions in this relatively new area of the law may vary.
State and other laws prohibit retaliation against individuals who file complaints.
Victims don’t have to fight sexual harassment by themselves. This office working through the EEOC and/or Ohio Civil Rights Commission and other organization can help.