Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that is prohibited under Title VII and under California law. Sexual harassment can take on two forms. The first is called “quid pro quo.” Quid pro quo under harassment law is then an economic benefit is tied to a sexual conduct.
The other type of sexual harassment is what is called a “hostile environment.” Hostile environment is created when sexual conduct unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates and intimidating or hostile working environment.
Under a quid pro quo sexual harassment claim, the employee must prove several things. The first is that the employee was subject to unwelcome sexual advances or conduct by a supervisor. Second, the employee must show that the harassment was based upon sex. Third, the employee must show that a tangible aspect of the employee’s compensation was affected.
A hostile environment claim also must prove several elements. The first is that the employee was subject to unwelcome sexual advances or comments. Second, the harassment complained of was based on sex. Third, the employee must show that the harassment was so severe and pervasive as to alter the conditions of the victim’s employment and create an abusive working environment.