Sexual Harassment: Wall, Feary, and Your View

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A Case between Two Co-Workers that Constitutes of Sexual Harassment (Wall)

Sexual harassment is a type of violation on one’s sexual rights and is punishable by law. The practice involves making unwanted sexual advances, rape, and any other sexual activities that offend one’s rights. One instance that constitutes of sexual harassment is the case involving two employees from the same organization. Employee A is a male person in his late forties and holds a senior position in the Human Resource Department; employee B is a young female in her early twenties. Employee A makes unwanted sexual advances and pervasive comments on Employee B and threatens her that if she denies him, she risks losing her job. Employee B tries to stop him but she also needs her job so much, and now she is stuck between a hard place and rock; that of quitting her job or give in to the ill demands of her HR. Lastly, she makes a sober decision by rejecting the sexual demands and reports his HR to his senior managers.

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In this context, employee A creates a hostile work environment for employee B by persisting in unwanted sexual interactions. According to the 1964 Act, employee A (the harasser) is liable by default since he is the senior employee mandated to create a suitable working environment (Wall, pg.411, 1991). Besides, not only that the HR creates an unsuitable working environment for employee B but also for the entire group of junior employees. The HR violates Title VII of the Civil Acts Rights of 1964 which prohibits any form of discrimination based on race, color, nationality, gender, and religion. Employee A can seek legal help from the Federal agency mandated to curb discrimination cases at workplaces. However, she may also explain her ordeal to the relevant managements within her organization and further seek guidance. Employee A is likely to lose his job at the organization and also face legal measures for engaging in the despicable act. Perhaps; many people are subjected to the same circumstances and should, therefore, report their sexual harassers top the relevant authorities to stop the vice.

A Case that Constitutes of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace (Feary)

In the second scenario, Employee B is also a woman and Employee A is still a man. Both employees work in the same department, but the male one holds a more senior position than the female one. In this case, employee A does not only make inappropriate sexual comments towards his female counterpart but also engages in unwanted physical contacts. He often blocks the movements of employee B and at times touches her breasts without her consent. Given that he assumes a senior position that of a manager while his female counterpart is only a supervisor, employee A intimidates employee B against saying a word to the senior managers. He often strokes her and also brushes himself against her body each time they bump into each other at the office corridors.

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According to Feary, the actions of employee A constitutes of serious sexual harassment against employee B. Given that employee B has made several warnings to him makes his actions punishable by law because he is aware that the acts violate the sexual consent of the supervisor. Therefore, employee B has the right to sue him for committing sexual offenses against her in a Court of Law. Employee A creates a tense environment for employee B to work in and interferes with her concentration towards fulfilling her duties. Making unwanted sexual contacts against anyone is a serious offense not only within the organization’s regulations but also within the overall laws of the country (Feary, pg. 415, 1994). There are similar consequences to those of the first scenario in part 1; however, employee A is more likely to face serious legal accusations since he has engaged in physical advances. It is important to note that the two cases are considered as sexual offenses because character A does not obtain the consent of character B; instead, ignores numerous warnings from her.

Who is to support? Wall or Feary?

The two mentioned cases constitute of sexual violations against women; however, there are more substantial reasons to side with Feary over Wall. First, in the first case, the male offender dopes not touch the female counterpart but only makes inappropriate sexual comments on her physical appearance. Thus; it is almost next to impossible to prove that the female accuser has been violated, and she might be required to provide a video or an audio recording to prove her case. However; in Feary’s case, employee B can easily prove her accusations because, at most times, the fingerprints of her offender remain on her body when he pats her. Also, she can provide DNA evidence in a case where the offender has forcefully kissed her, and this will make it easy for the respective authorities to comprehend the sexual violator.

Would Werhane and Radin agree with your view or not?

Unfortunately, they would oppose the views mentioned above because they have parallel views regarding the activities of employers and sexual harassment. According to Werhane and Radin, an employer has the right to hire, promote, demote, and fire his or her employees at will (pg.1). Being a manager, employee A would have the advantage over his accuser since he can demote her or fire her at will since he holds the managerial position. He has the mandate to carry such activities on behalf of the organization’s owner. Thus, the only option left for the victim would be to report him to the agencies that deal with workplace discriminations and harassments. Perhaps; if she has sufficient evidence and facts to prove that she has indeed been sexually harassed, employee A would be held liable to answer to charges of sexual harassment and discrimination.

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  1. Wall, E. (1991). The definition of sexual harassment. doi:5 (4):371-385 (1991)
  2. Feary, V. M. (1994). Sexual harassment: Why the corporate society still doesn’t “get it” (Vol. 13, Ser. 8). Kluwer Academic. doi:10.1007/BF00871812
  3. Werhane, P., & Radin, T. J. (2015). Employment at Will and Due Process…
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