Study Points

Sexual Harassment Prevention: The Illinois Requirement

Course #97080 - $15 • 1 Hour/Credit

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  • Participation Instructions
    • Review the course material online or in print.
    • Complete the course evaluation.
    • Review your Transcript to view and print your Certificate of Completion. Your date of completion will be the date (Pacific Time) the course was electronically submitted for credit, with no exceptions. Partial credit is not available.
  1. On a national level, unwanted sexual advances in the workplace were made illegal in

    INTRODUCTION

    Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, unwanted sexual advances in the workplace were made illegal, but it was not until the 1970s that the term "sexual harassment" began to gain recognition, due in large part to the women's rights movement [1,2]. While sexual harassment is a term that has been familiar to the general population for the past 40 years, it has returned to the spotlight since the beginning of the "Me Too" movement, which started in 2006 but gained more widespread support and following in 2017 [3].

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  2. Psychologically, sexual harassment has been divided into what three categories?

    DEFINING SEXUAL HARASSMENT

    Psychologically, sexual harassment has been divided into three categories that reflect the legal definitions [12]:

    • Gender harassment: Insults based upon sex, jokes, sexist comments, sexting, pornography, dehumanizing epithets (e.g., dog, whore), grabbing

    • Unwanted sexual attention: Attraction, sexual pursuit, pressure for dates, unwanted compliments, the sharing of sexual fantasies—a show of sexual interest that is unwelcome

    • Sexual coercion: Sexual compliance as a condition of a relationship

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  3. Quid pro quo sexual harassment is defined as

    DEFINING SEXUAL HARASSMENT

    Quid pro quo, meaning "this for that" in Latin, consists of a supervisor or other superior asking for sexual favors in exchange for benefits at work. These demands may be outright or implied. Benefits may include a promotion, a pay increase, a bigger office, approval of vacation time, better work shifts, or keeping one's job. Quid pro quo harassment also includes negative repercussions from refusing to perform the acts requested by the superior. For example, the harasser may threaten to or actually fire, demote, or assign unpleasant work assignments or bad work shifts to the victim as retaliation.

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  4. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 applies to

    DEFINING SEXUAL HARASSMENT

    As noted, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that protects workers from discrimination regardless of their gender, race, color, national origin, or religion [2]. The EEOC was created under Title VII and is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee. This law applies to businesses with 15 or more employees and to federal, state, and local governments. Violation of Title VII can encompass all aspects of employment, including but not limited to hiring, firing, layoffs, compensation, training, promotions, and assignments. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person for making a complaint or reporting discrimination [17,18,19]. Specifically, section 703 of Title VII states it shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to [19]:

    • Fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his/her compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin

    • Limit, segregate, or classify his/her employees or applicants for employment in any way that would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his/her status as an employee, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin

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  5. The Illinois Human Rights Act, enforced by the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR), ensures the right of all employees to

    DEFINING SEXUAL HARASSMENT

    There are several laws in the state of Illinois regarding the prevention of, training to prevent, and protection from sexual harassment. The Illinois Human Rights Act, enforced by the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR), ensures the right of all employees to work in an environment free of sexual harassment or discrimination [21]. In 2017, the Illinois Sexual Harassment and Discrimination (SHD) helpline and website were created in order to help inform and guide employees through the sexual harassment reporting process (Resources). The state of Illinois also requires that places of business have sexual harassment policies in place in order to protect employees and ease the reporting process [21,22,23].

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  6. Sexual harassment and worker bullying in the healthcare workplace have led to

    CONSEQUENCES OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT

    Sexual harassment and worker bullying in the healthcare workplace have led to severe patient care failures, including medication and medical errors and even death [24]. In addition to patient care failures, research clearly demonstrates that sexual harassment can negatively affect one's health. People who have been victims of sexual harassment are more likely to be depressed and to have symptoms of stress and anxiety, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sexual harassment has been associated with additional negative psychologic effects, including burnout, unhealthy eating behaviors, self-blame, reduced self-esteem, emotional exhaustion, anger, disgust, fear, and less satisfaction with life in general. Furthermore, victims of sexual harassment may be more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol and self-harm. Physical health consequences may include headaches, exhaustion, disrupted sleep, gastrointestinal problems, weight gain or loss, and cardiovascular and respiratory issues [5,13].

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  7. Which of the following is a negative psychologic consequence of workplace sexual harassment?

    CONSEQUENCES OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT

    Sexual harassment and worker bullying in the healthcare workplace have led to severe patient care failures, including medication and medical errors and even death [24]. In addition to patient care failures, research clearly demonstrates that sexual harassment can negatively affect one's health. People who have been victims of sexual harassment are more likely to be depressed and to have symptoms of stress and anxiety, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sexual harassment has been associated with additional negative psychologic effects, including burnout, unhealthy eating behaviors, self-blame, reduced self-esteem, emotional exhaustion, anger, disgust, fear, and less satisfaction with life in general. Furthermore, victims of sexual harassment may be more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol and self-harm. Physical health consequences may include headaches, exhaustion, disrupted sleep, gastrointestinal problems, weight gain or loss, and cardiovascular and respiratory issues [5,13].

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  8. Which of the following steps should a victim of sexual harassment take?

    WHAT TO DO IF ONE EXPERIENCES OR WITNESSES UNWELCOME SEXUAL CONTACT

    If one experiences or witnesses sexual harassment in one's place of work, there are several things that can be done to stop the behavior and/or protect oneself [11,13,21]:

    • It is important that the victim of sexual harassment not blame her- or himself. The blame should be put on the harasser.

    • The victim should report the offending behavior to a superior or otherwise follow the grievance system that the employer has in place.

    • If possible, document all incidents of sexual harassment, including when it occurred, what happened, what was said or implied, and who was present.

    • The victim should make clear to the harasser that his or her behavior, speech, or actions are unwelcome and must stop. This may feel uncomfortable to the victim, but it is often the most effective strategy. If a face-to-face discussion is too difficult or dangerous, the victim may choose to send an e-mail or memo to the harasser outlining the incidents and explaining her or his feelings.

    • If one feels comfortable, one may confide in a friend, family member, or coworker. This may help to reduce stress and receive support. Additionally, one may learn that he or she has not been the only one to experience sexual harassment from a particular harasser and a plan to report may be made.

    • Seeking counseling may help reduce stress related to the sexual harassment.

    • If the victim belongs to a union, it may be effective to report the harassment directly to the labor union.

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  9. A charge of discrimination, including sexual harassment, can be reported to the IDHR in person or by phone, fax, e-mail, or mail within how many days of the alleged harassment?

    REPORTING SEXUAL HARASSMENT

    A charge of discrimination, including sexual harassment, can be reported to the IDHR in person or by phone, fax, e-mail, or mail within 300 days of the alleged harassment. The employee who wishes to report sexual harassment must complete, sign, and submit a complainant information sheet (CIS) to the IDHR. More information, including the CIS and the locations and addresses to which one can make the report, can be found online at https://www.illinois.gov/dhr [15]. If the harassment occurs in the context of an educational institution, the IDHR has a specific form for reporting. In all other places of employment, the general employment CIS should be used to report sexual harassment.

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  10. Which of the following actions is considered retaliation if done in response to an employee's action with the EEOC?

    WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTIONS

    An action is considered retaliation if, in response to an employee's action with the EEOC, the employer or supervisor [28]:

    • Reprimanded the employee or gave a performance evaluation that was lower than it should have been

    • Transferred the employee to a less desirable position

    • Engaged in verbal or physical abuse

    • Threatened to make, or actually made, reports to authorities (such as reporting immigration status or contacting the police)

    • Engaged in increased scrutiny

    • Spread false rumors

    • Treated a family member negatively (e.g., canceled a contract with the person's spouse)

    • Made the person's work more difficult (e.g., purposefully changing an employee's work schedule to conflict with family responsibilities)

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  • Back to Course Home
  • Participation Instructions
    • Review the course material online or in print.
    • Complete the course evaluation.
    • Review your Transcript to view and print your Certificate of Completion. Your date of completion will be the date (Pacific Time) the course was electronically submitted for credit, with no exceptions. Partial credit is not available.