The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or EEOC was created in 1964 to ensure that anti-discriminatory laws are properly enacted in workplaces all over America. As Title VII of the Civil Rights Act suggests, every person has the right to be protected from any form of discrimination based on race, gender, age, sexuality, religion, and the like while performing their jobs. Among the many issues the commission is tasked to address is the prevalence of sexual harassment in the United States. From the years 2010 until 2014, the EEOC has received an annual average of roughly 7,488 reports of alleged sexual harassment charges.

Such an astounding figure shows that the problem needs to be addressed. In particular, much awareness and discussion should be raised regarding the two types of sexual harassment most common in workplaces. According to the website of employment law attorneys Cary Kane LLP, sexual harassment cases can be categorized as instances of quid pro quo or situations that create a hostile working environment. These two types encompass are variety of different scenarios wherein an employee is made to suffer unwanted sexual attention and inappropriate advances. Quid pro quo refers to instances where an employee is asked for sexual favors under some condition. For example, employee might be threatened with termination or promised a promotion. On the other hand, a hostile working environment can be created through lewd comments, profane gestures, unwelcome touching, and other similar instances of mistreatment.

The employees who become targets of any incident falling under the aforementioned scenarios can take legal action against their employers. Sexual harassment is a serious issue that prevents employees, particularly women, from being able to enjoy their right to opportunities of equal employment in the United States. Instances of sexual harassment can leave profound effects on its victims. Aside from the obvious way it can damage a person’s ability to perform their tasks efficiently, it can also have significant emotional and psychological effects.