The Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence also addresses the issue of sexual harassment (Article 40) and uses a similar definition.  On the other hand, a combination of events of varying severity and frequency may also constitute harassment. For example, a case where a manager repeatedly asked an employee out despite constant refusals, told sexually explicit jokes in front of the social worker, and made repeated sexual innuendos with the employee to make her blush, would also constitute sexual harassment. Sexual harassment and assault can be prevented through high schools, universities, and on-the-job training programs.  At least one program for men in the fraternity has led to „lasting behavior change.”   For more information on country-specific laws, please see our Legal Responses to Sexual Harassment page. Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including, but not limited to: Barnes v. Train (1974) is generally considered to be the first case of sexual harassment in America, although the term „sexual harassment” has not been used.  In 1976, the sexual harassment established in Williams v. Saxbe was perceived as a form of gender discrimination when sexual advances made by a male superior to an employee, if proven, were considered an artificial barrier to employment placed before one sex over another. In 1980, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued regulations defining sexual harassment as a form of discrimination on the basis of sex prohibited by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In Meritor Savings Bank v. 1986 Vinson, the Supreme Court first recognized „sexual harassment” as a violation of Title VII, set standards for analyzing whether conduct was welcome and what the employer`s responsibility was, and that speech or conduct itself can create a „hostile environment.”  In this case, filed by Mechelle Vinson, it was decided that sexual conduct between the subordinate and the superior could not be considered voluntary because of the hierarchical relationship between the two positions in the workplace.
 Following the judgment in Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, reported cases of sexual harassment increased from 10 cases recorded by the EEOC per year before 1986 to 624 cases reported the following year.  This number of cases reported to the EEOC increased to 2,217 in 1990 and 4,626 in 1995.  For the purposes of this Directive, the following definitions … (1) [the act] is related to sex or sexual conduct; The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines sexual harassment as „unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment if: More than 6,500 sexual harassment complaints were filed with the EEOC in fiscal year 2020. This represents a decrease from fiscal 2019, but we cannot be sure what may have caused this decline. Many states are trying to go beyond federal regulations to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. Some states have included „gender” as a protected category in their discrimination laws. The Discrimination Act 1975 was amended in 1986 to establish sexual harassment as a form of discrimination.  Harassment occurs when there is undesirable conduct based on a person`s sex or undesirable behaviour of a sexual nature, and the purpose or effect of that conduct is to violate the dignity of a person or to create an environment that is intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive to that person. If an employer treats someone less favourably because they have refused or submitted to any of the forms of harassment described above, this is also harassment.  Retaliation and backlash against a victim, particularly a complainant, is common.
Victims who speak out about sexual harassment are often referred to as troublemakers who are on their own „power trips” or seeking attention. As in cases of rape or sexual assault, the victim often becomes the accused, as their appearance, privacy and character are subject to scrutiny and attack.  They risk hostility and isolation from colleagues, superiors, teachers, classmates and even friends. They can become the target of bullying or relational aggression.  In Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. in 2006.