Harassment is unwelcome conduct that is based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.
The victim should use any employer complaint mechanism or grievance system available.
When investigating allegations of sexual harassment, the federal EEOC looks at the whole record: the circumstances, such as the nature of the sexual advances, and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred.
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A determination on the allegations is made from the facts on a case-by-case basis.
Prevention is the best tool to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace.Employers should strive to create an environment in which employees feel free to raise concerns and are confident that those concerns will be addressed.Employees are encouraged to inform the harasser directly that the conduct is unwelcome and must stop.While many have a long and storied history, let me suggest that the time has come to relegate them to the dustbin of history.To continue with these forms of subtle (and not so subtle) harassment can easily subject your fire department to action under the applicable local, state, and federal laws. Petty slights, annoyances, and isolated incidents (unless extremely serious) will not rise to the level of illegality.Employees should also report harassment to management at an early stage to prevent its escalation.Fire Department Liability For Harassment Your fire department is automatically liable for harassment by a supervisor that results in a negative employment action such as termination, failure to promote or hire, and loss of wages.To be unlawful, the conduct must create a work environment that would be intimidating, hostile, or offensive to reasonable people.Offensive conduct may include, but is not limited to, offensive jokes, slurs, epithets or name calling, physical assaults or threats, intimidation, ridicule or mockery, insults or put-downs, offensive objects or pictures, and interference with work performance.Sexual Harassment Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to the following: It is helpful for the victim to inform the harasser directly that the conduct is unwelcome and must stop.