Critical Thinking: Module 3
Colorado State University – Global Campus
27 July 2013
While I’ve never personally experienced an ethical issue in the realm of employment law in my twelve years of working with the Air Force, several cases of sexual harassment concerning other employees have emerged. As a military member and gender minority, the potential exists in which I could be faced with sexual harassment in the future.
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It is defined as sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment either when an employment decision affecting that individual is made because the individual submitted to or rejected the unwelcome conduct, or when the unwelcome conduct unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or abusive work environment. Sexual harassment is not only illegal, it is unethical because it causes personal disruption and makes for an uncomfortable work environment for everyone. Additionally, it is unethical for a harasser to abuse the power or position that a company has entrusted in him/her.
There are two forms of sexual harassment widely recognized by courts: Quid Pro Quo and Hostile Work Environment. Quid pro quo harassment occurs when job benefits are made contingent on the provision of sexual favors, or the rejection of a sexual advance or request for sexual favors results in a tangible employment detriment (The Advocates for Human Rights, 2007). Hostile work environment harassment is where hostile conditions in the workplace are severe and pervasive, unwelcomed and based on the victim’s gender (Lau T. & Johnson L., 2013).
While the military handles its complaint process differently than that of the civilian sector, if the process were identical I would not have the right to...