Harassment, Discrimination, and Hostile Environment Training Quiz

Objectives

  • Identify the purpose of sexual harassment and employment discrimination awareness orientation.
  • Identify the major employment civil rights laws.
  • Define sexual harassment as it occurs in the workplace or classroom.
  • Who can commit sexual harassment?
  • Who are the victims of harassment and discrimination?
  • Identify the forms of harassment.

The major Federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
    • Prohibits discrimination in employment based on race, color, sex, religion, or national origin.

      Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination; as such it is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, of 1964.
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, (ADEA).
    • Prohibits discrimination in employment against people age 40 or older.
  • The Equal Pay Act of 1963, (EPA).
    • Requires equal pay for employees of different sexes for equal work, performed under similar working conditions.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
    • Prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities.
    • The ADA requires "reasonable accommodations" for individuals with disabilities.

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

  • Employers of 50 or more workers are required to provide 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for:
    • The birth of a child,
    • Placement of a child for adoption,
    • Serious health condition of a child, parent, or spouse, or
    • An employee's own serious health condition.

What is sexual harassment?

  • Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature in the workplace or educational setting.
  • Unwelcome behavior such as:
    • Sexual advances
    • Requests for sexual favors
    • Verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature
    • Display of sexually explicit or suggestive materials

 

Examples of sexual harassment-

  • The following are examples of sexual conduct in the workplace or classroom that may constitute sexual harassment:
    • Touching or gesturing, blocking, following (physical acts)
    • Requests for sexual favors, repeated requests for dates, lewd remarks, or sexual innuendo (verbal acts)
    • Visual displays of sexual photos, cartoons, posters, calendars, and drawings (visual acts)

Who can commit sexual harassment?

Any employee can commit sexual harassment including -

  • Supervisors
  • Subordinates
  • Co-workers
  • Clients or customers
  • Teachers
  • Students
  • Same-sex
  • Visitors to campus

Who can experience sexual harassment?

  • Direct targets of harassment
  • Bystanders or witnesses to harassment
    • Direct targets
      • An employee or student may be an indirect or direct target.
      • For example, an employee or student that is subjected to unwelcome sexual advances is a direct target, and therefore, a victim of these unlawful acts.
    • Bystanders and witnesses
      • Bystanders or witnesses to unlawful acts of sexual harassment may also be victims.
      • An individual who witnesses sexual harassment that is directed towards another individual may be considered an indirect victim of sexual harassment.

 

Quid Pro Quo

  • Hostile Work Environment
    • Sexual harassment can occur in one of two ways: quid pro quo or hostile work environment

 

The specific forms of harassment:

Quid Pro Quo

  • Considered something for something
  • Usually occurs within the context of a supervisor-employee relationship
    • This form of sexual harassment is sometimes thought of in terms of "something for something" or "this for that."
    • Quid pro quo sexual harassment usually occurs within the context of a supervisor-subordinate relationship.
    • That is, when submission to or a rejection of sexual requests or conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions such as promotion, transfer, raise, or even continued employment.

Hostile Work Environment

  • May include:
    • Severe or pervasive conduct
    • Unreasonable interference with an individual's job performance
    • Offensive, intimidating, or abusive atmosphere
  • Considerations:
    • How frequent is the conduct?
    • How severe is the conduct?
    • Is the conduct physically threatening, humiliating, or merely an offensive utterance?
    • Does the conduct unreasonably interfere with an individual's work performance?
  • Can be created by anyone in the workplace
    • Employees, such as a supervisor or co-worker.
    • Even a client or customer can create a hostile work environment.

The objectives of a workplace sexual harassment policy

  • To provide a uniform statement of expectations
  • To protect employee rights
    • Foster respect for all parties
    • Respect confidentiality
    • Prohibit retaliation
  • To promote compliance and prevention
    • Management and employee responsibilities

 

Final thoughts

  • A satisfactory resolution for every affected employee is our goal.
  • Satisfactory resolution can only be achieved through
    • Swift employee reporting and management response.
    • By maintaining objectivity throughout the investigative process.

Read the following examples and choose the best answer. You must continue choosing until you choose the best answer.


Employee's Name

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Employee's ID Number

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Immediate Supervisor's E-mail Address

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You are a new male professor, and the dean has appointed you the coordinator for the work study/student hire program. The chair/director feels that since you are 28, you can relate to the students in this program. In this capacity, the work study/student hire’s rely on you for direction. A new student hire has just been hired in the college and is about your age; she has indicated that she is interested in you. You find her attractive. She notices that you are a huge fan of the Dallas Cowboys and invites you to join her in Dallas for the upcoming game.
How should you handle this situation?






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Correct. You need to get clarification in regard to your role as a coordinator for the work study/student hire program. ENMU-Roswell’s policy is that when you are a professor/supervisor with a professional responsibility over a student/staff member, your role may place you in a position to abuse your power and/or sexually exploit the student/staff member. Furthermore, other students and faculty may be affected by such behavior because it may place you in a position to favor or advance one student's interests at the expense of others and implicitly make obtaining benefits contingent upon amorous or sexual favors. Therefore, ENMU-Roswell views it as unethical if faculty/staff members engage in amorous relations with students enrolled in their classes and/or subject to their supervision, even when both parties appear to have consented to the relationship.


You are a new female professor just hired from the University of New Mexico. Another member of the faculty was assigned to serve as your mentor. Yesterday, your mentor insisted on meeting with you at a local dance club/bar for a mentoring session. He informed you that he prefers meeting with you at the bar because "it helps him to unwind and lends itself to better communication." He also says that he sees something special in you and cooperation with him could mean tenure. At the bar, he kept massaging your shoulders and placing his hands on your knee. How should you handle this situation?





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Correct. You should (1) make it clear to the faculty member that his behavior makes you uncomfortable and that it is not welcome, (2) keep a written record of the incident, including the date, time and location, (3) tell someone about the incident and confirm something is being done.


You receive a notice from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission indicating that an ex-employee filed a charge alleging that you and ENMU-Roswell discriminated against him because of his race. The form identifies the complainant and asks you to furnish information concerning the complainant’s termination from employment. As the departmental chair/director, you are the official that recommended his termination. You have documentation for your recommendation and personally feel that the former employee’s race was not a factor that influenced your decision. What should you do?





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Correct. ENMU-Roswell’s Equal Opportunity Officer is the official whom the President has delegated the authority to prepare ENMU-Roswell’s response to such charges. He/she will determine whether to personally respond to the request or to refer the matter to ENMU-Roswell’s legal counsel.


A male work study in your department has been assigned to assist a female professor in the department. The female professor has asked the work study to do "after-hours" work at her home and constantly rubs up against him or tries to hold his hand during the day when they work on projects. He feels like she is "coming on" to him and objects to the unwelcome touching. He complains to the Equal Opportunity Office. The professor responds that she has no amorous intentions and is merely being friendly. Can this be considered as sexual harassment?



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Correct. Intent makes no difference. If the actions are sexual in nature and unwelcome, they can create a hostile environment in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.


Your department is hiring a new professor. A woman applies for the job with an excellent curriculum vita. However, she has four young children, ages 6, 4, 2, and 1. You may reject her on the basis of projected absenteeism.



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Correct. In most cases, only women are asked questions about children; males are seldom questioned about their families during the interview process. It is discriminatory to ask women and not men questions about children and family life, or to use such information to screen women out of positions for which they are qualified. In either case, it would be improper to assume that an applicant will have a problem with absenteeism simply because the applicant has young children at home. This is not a legitimate concern at the pre-employment stage.


A student with mobility impairments applies for a job as a work study in your department. He is fully qualified and can perform the essential functions of the job with minor accommodations. You are concerned about how he would fit in with the other work study students in the department because of the disability. You may reject him on the basis of your concerns over his acceptance in the department.



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Correct. Mobility impairments are considered disabilities if they rise to the level of having an adverse impact on routine daily activities. This work study can perform essential functions of the job; and you can reasonably accommodate him. You cannot discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of the disability.


A male work study claims that one of his female co-workers recently entered the men's locker room at the school fitness center while he was changing clothes and observed him in the nude. Since then, she has teased him about the incident. He has also heard her talking to other employees about him and laughing about the incident. The department chair told him to just forget about it. Did the chair act appropriately under the guidelines of the sexual harassment/hostile working environment policy?



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Correct. The co-worker may have created a hostile working environment. Every complaint brought to the attention of management that could be considered harassment must be investigated, regardless of how minor or frivolous it seems. The correct procedure is for the manager to notify the Equal Opportunity Officer and he/she will initiate any investigation.


If an alleged harasser denies the charges, nothing further need be done because it is just one person's word against the other.



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Correct. Within sixty (60) calendar days of receipt of a complaint of discrimination of harassment, the Equal Opportunity Officer or other appropriate designee will investigate the charge, interview the parties, gather relevant evidence, and prepare a written record of the investigation. Confidentiality will be maintained to the maximum extent possible.


The Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of age against anyone.



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Correct. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of age against employees who are age 40 and older.


Bill attends a required company activity in an after-hours establishment along with you and others. Bill has a little too much to drink and at one point exposes himself to you and another female co-worker. The next day Bill profusely apologizes and admits he was out of line. You and the co-worker just try to avoid Bill at all costs. He remains courteous to you and the co-worker in passing but does not engage in extended conversations.

Is this considered sexual harassment?



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Correct.


As the manager of an area that must do a reduction in force, you have to make a choice between retaining a 55 year old male employee with 20 years of service and with a known disability and a relatively new female employee, 27 years old, and in good health. Both employees exhibit high performance skills at work. However, you are considering terminating the 55-year-old man because, according to budget figures, you would save more money. You know that he is protected by the American's with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).

How should you handle this situation?





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Correct. Keep in mind that you must be able to show that you have applied your performance standards consistently and have based your decision on performance, ability, and seniority, not age, disability, or sex.


Religious discrimination is strictly prohibited in the workplace. Which of the following practices would be considered unacceptable in the work place?





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Correct. Although there are many types of religions and many types of worship, threatening to cast spells on employees can be seen as a threat of violence. There is indication that Mike "continues" to talk about his religion even though he may have been asked to stop.


The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is intended to help employees balance their work and family lives by allowing them to take unpaid leave for their own serious illness, for the birth or adoption of a child; and/or for the care of a child, spouse, or parent who has a serious health condition. The Act provides up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period. Which of the following is not protected under the Act?





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Correct.


While at work, Mary frequently makes personal phone calls to her friends. Her conversations are loud and always contain sexually explicit language. Her co-workers in nearby cubicles cannot help but overhear her conversations. Mary’s behavior cannot be interpreted as sexually harassing. She is not addressing her language directly toward her co-workers.



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Correct. Harassment in the workplace does not have to be directed at a particular individual. Mary’s co-workers may find her behavior offensive, unwelcome and contributing to a hostile work environment, even though she is not speaking directly to them.


You want to improve the quality of managers and supervisors that you hire in your department. In order to meet this goal, you require applicants to answer certain standardized questions. According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts which of the following would be considered discriminatory?





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Correct. Addressing issues regarding children, transportation to and from work, or other non-job related functions of the applicant is extremely discriminatory.


ENMU-Roswell has just hired Kathy Smith, its first female police officer. On her first day, she was subjected to pornographic cartoons and derogatory jokes. In the locker room, she was confronted with nude photos with “Kathy” written on them posted in public view. She approached her immediate supervisor, Captain Clark. He advised her to "deal with it" because this is the environment in which she chooses to work. Kathy files a formal complaint with the Vice President for Student Affairs. What should the Vice President for Student Affairs do?





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Correct.


Kathy, the first woman police officer on the force, has been treated as one of the team by her male co-workers. However, she has been told by Captain Clark that in order for her to advance, they need to develop a little more rapport. He invites her to his house during her off duty-hours. She learns that none of her co-workers have received similar invitations. Her friend who works in the Office of Human Resources says she has no claim for harassment.



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Correct. Simply creating a "hostile environment" is sexual harassment where sexual conduct in the workplace affects others in a negative way, is unwelcome, and is not reciprocal. Since he does not insist that male officers visit him at his house during their off-duty hours to develop more rapport, he is treating her differently and it can be assumed to be because of her sex.


If Captain Clark denies the charges to his superiors or the Office of Human Resources, nothing further need be done because it is just one person's word against another.



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Correct. Within sixty (60) calendar days of receipt of a complaint of discrimination of harassment, the Equal Opportunity Officer or other appropriate designee will investigate the charge, interview the parties, gather relevant evidence, and prepare a written record of the investigation. Confidentiality will be maintained to the maximum extent possible. A report of the findings will be revealed to the employee(s) immediate supervisor. A resolution to the incident will be implemented and disciplinary action will be taken as needed.


James is a white male and is fully qualified for other open positions or transfer. He feels that he was passed over for several jobs in his department because he is a white male. His supervisor explains that the department is under-represented in various racial minorities and because ENMU-Roswell is an affirmative action employer, he must give preference to women and minorities. James’s attorney feels they have a legitimate claim under existing civil rights law. The law protects white males from discrimination.



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Correct. All races and both sexes are granted protection under the law.


You are an administrator over a division with several departments reporting to you. Several of those departments have told you that they would prefer that African-Americans and Latinos not be assigned to jobs in their departments. You have an opening and an African-American applies. You feel the applicant is well qualified; however, you feel that you will alienate the departments by hiring him. You have a legitimate reason to reject the applicant.



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Correct. Equal opportunity for employment assures you will hire the best qualified applicant. Basing selection decisions on prejudices is illegal. However, it also appears diversity training and cultural awareness should be addressed immediately.


You are starting a program within your department to solicit donations for your office. You want young college graduates. You have requested Human Resources to advertise for the job using the phrase "recent college graduate." Is this proper?



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Correct. The phrase "recent college graduate" has historically meant younger people and may have a chilling effect on older applicants. Older graduates may be discouraged from applying. The advertisement will be considered a “per se violation” of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) by EEOC.


Four recently hired minority employees have been eating lunch and associating only with other minorities. You are afraid of a clique being formed. Your department is small and this is having a disruptive influence. As a supervisor, you have a right to make the employees lunch with other employees.



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Correct. Employees may spend their non-working time with whomever they choose. You, as a supervisor, must make sure that the decision to eat with members of their own race is voluntary and that the other staffs are not segregating them.

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