- Quid pro quo - This occurs when an employer, most often a person in a position of authority, demands sexual favors in exchange for a job or any other benefit of employment including promotions, bonuses and raises. An employee who is fired, disciplined, or given a poor performance evaluation, for refusing a sexual advance may be the victim of this form of harassment.
- Hostile work environment - This involves an employee being subjected to a pattern of unwelcome conduct, such as comments or visual displays, that is severe or pervasive enough to create a distressing work environment and alter the conditions of employment.
Given the many high profile cases in the media, it is crucial for any business to understand its responsibility to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. Generally, sexual harassment is deemed to be a form of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights of 1964 (Title VII), and most states have far stricter laws in place designed to prevent harassment. There are two types of sexual harassment: quid pro quo ("this for that") and hostile work environment.