Twenty years after Anita Hill testified before Congress, sexual harassment is still with us. In 2010, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) accepted more than 11,000 charges of sexual harassment, and almost 31,000 charges of harassment of all types (for example, racial harassment or harassment based on disability).
Harassment is defined as offensive, unwelcome conduct, based on the victim’s protected characteristic (such as sex or religion), that is so severe or pervasive that it affects the terms and conditions of employment. This might take the form of “quid pro quo” harassment, in which the victim’s job opportunities are conditioned on putting up with the harassment. (“If you want that raise, you’ll agree to go out with me.”) Or, it might take the form of hostile environment harassment, in which the workplace is poisoned by biased comments, lewd behavior, and other inappropriate behavior.
The articles in this section explain what harassment is and what you can do about it. It explains the rules for holding an employer liable for harassment, the remedies available to employees who win a harassment case, and more.
Learn About Workplace Harassment
How To Prove Harassment in the Workplace
If your harassment case goes to court, you’ll have to prove these elements in order to win.
Reporting Workplace Harassment to the HR Department
If you are facing workplace harassment, you must report it within your company or risk losing your right to sue.
Third-Party Sexual Harassment
Harassment is illegal, whether it’s committed by a manager or coworker, or by someone who doesn’t work for your company, like a vendor or client.
Legal Remedies for Employer Harassment
If you win your harassment case, you can collect back pay, attorney fees, and other types of damages.
Management Harassment at the Workplace
Learn the rules that determine when you can hold a company responsible for a manager’s harassment.
Articles by Subscribing Attorneys
The History of Sexual Harassment Law
The Supreme Court didn’t recognize sexual harassment as a form of illegal sex discrimination until the 1980s.
Hostile Work Environments, Harassment and Discrimination Claims by Employees
Information on workplace bullying, abuse, and harassment.
Resources on Harassment
Your Rights in the Workplace
The essential guide to employee rights, including the right to work free from harassment.
The Essential Guide to Handling Workplace Harassment and Discrimination
Written for managers and employers, this handy reference explains how to recognize and handle discrimination claims.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
The EEOC’s website provides lots of free information and resources on workplace harassment.