A single instance of harassment is sufficient to sustain a quid pro quo claim (e.g., a superior demands you kiss her/him in order to keep your job), while a pattern of harassment is typically required to qualify as a hostile work environment.Hostile work environment harassment is grounds for legal action when the conduct is unwelcome, based on sex, and severe or pervasive enough to create an abusive or offensive working environment.
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.
Types of Sexual Harassment Under Title VII there are two recognized types of sexual harassment -- 1) quid pro quo and 2) hostile work environment.
Under the quid pro quo form of harassment, a person in authority, usually a supervisor, demands that subordinates tolerate sexual harassment as a condition of getting or keeping a job or job benefit, including promotions and raises.
Sexual harassment can range from persistent offensive sexual jokes to inappropriate touching to posting offensive material on a bulletin board.
Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) defines workplace sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances or conduct of a sexual nature which unreasonably interferes with the performance of a person's job or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.