What is Harassment?
Harassment is bothersome, demeaning, irritating, and annoying behavior. Sexual harassment is, specifically, harassment of a sexual nature. The law describes two different forms of sexual harassment: quid pro quo and hostile environment.
- Quid pro quo is Latin for "that for this" or "something for something" and refers to an exchange. In this case, the exchange is between supervisors and subordinates or between faculty and students, where one is asked to provide sexual favors in exchange for something else, such as grades, favorable treatment in work assignments, recommendations, pay or promotion.
- Hostile environment harassment consists of unwelcome conduct that is severe or pervasive or that creates a work or learning environment that is intimidating, hostile, or offensive to a reasonable person. The victim does not have to be the person harassed but can be anyone affected by the behavior.
Harassment may occur without economic injury to, or discharge of, the victim.