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The Law on Sexual Harassment

What to do if someone is accused.If someone alleges sexual harassment, pastors should consult with their attorneys for specific advice. But here are some basics to keep in mind.

WHAT IS SEXUAL HARASSMENT?

As the Supreme Court explained in Harris v. Forklift Systems, Inc. (1993), discrimination in the "terms, conditions, or privileges of employment" on the basis of sex is sexual harassment. Courts have recognized two forms of sexual harassment:

quid pro quo: When an employee is subjected to unwelcome advances and submission is explicitly or implicitly made a condition of employment. The employee either complies or risks termination or demotion.

hostile environment: When the employer (directly or through agents) creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.

The conduct must be severe and pervasive enough that a reasonable person would find the environment to be hostile and abusive, and the victim must perceive the environment to be abusive. The frequency and severity of the ...

May/June
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