The employee has a legally viable claim for both quid pro quo and hostile environment sexual harassment. The supervisor in the scenario offered the employee a promotion if she shared a room with him on a business trip and showed him her breasts. Travel requirements were not a part of the employee’s job description, but were enforced by the supervisor in order to take advantage of the employee’s situation. Upon denying the supervisors request, the employee was demoted to the mail room and received a decrease in pay. The action taken by the supervisor, workplace promotion in exchange for sexual activity and retaliation for refusing the offer, clearly describes quid pro quo sexual harassment. The employee’s claim meets all of the elements for quid pro quo sexual harassment (Bennett-Alexander & Dawn, 414).
The employee also has a legally viable claim for hostile environment sexual harassment due to her male co-workers pervasive behavior. The male co-workers behavior was pervasive in that he continued to make comments about the employee’s body after she continually asked him to stop. The employee also addressed her co-workers behavior and asked him to stop, making it clear that his actions were unwelcome. The co-worker took things further by stealing the picture of the employee in her swim suite from her desk, scanning it, and using it as his desktop background. He also created a folder with the employee’s name, which contained computer altered pictures of her nude. The employee brought the harassment to her supervisor’s attention, whom did not perform any investigations. It appeared the supervisor asked the harasser to take down the picture of the employee from his desktop background and use a computer protected password (Bennett-Alexander & Dawn, 415-17).
The harassed employee belongs to a protected class and personally finds the actions of her male co-worker to be pervasive and humiliating. The employee could also claim that the...