Sexual Harassment Definition Per Utah Law
As an employer or an employee in Utah, you need to be aware of the laws regarding sexual harassment. The Utah Antidiscrimination Act prohibits discrimination in employment, and a few points to keep in mind are:
Sexual harassment is considered any form of discrimination based on sex, gender, pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions, and/or sexual orientation.
- As perceived by Utah law, sexual orientation is defined by the Act as “an individual’s actual or perceived orientation as heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual.”
- Gender identity as per the Act has the meaning provided in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5), i.e. “a person’s gender identity can be shown by providing evidence, including, but not limited to, medical history, care or treatment of the gender identity, consistent and uniform assertion of the gender identity, or other evidence that the gender identity is sincerely held, part of a person’s core identity, and not being asserted for an improper purpose.”
- Pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions “includes breastfeeding or medical conditions related to breastfeeding.”
The Act applies to all government entities and private companies with 15 or more employees, but not to religious organizations, sole proprietorships, associations, societies, or educational institutions.
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Keep in mind that the legal definition of sexual harassment includes an unwelcome sexual advance or any other physical or verbal conduct with sexual intent. Such conduct is particularly dangerous when combined with an explicit or implicit understanding that the recipient’s employment prospects are contingent upon acceptance, when said conduct impairs the recipient’s work performance, or creates a hostile work environment. Examples of sexual harassment include:
- Telling sexually explicit jokes to fellow employees;
- A superior hinting to an employee, even in jest, that the employee must have sex with him/her to remain employed;
- Belittling a fellow employee and refer to him/her in a sexist or demeaning way;
- Sending emails on showing photos to co-workers of a sexual or explicit nature;
- The use of nicknames or pet names for fellow employees;
- Whistling and/or making comments about an employee’s body or appearance;
- Spreading rumors of an explicit nature about a fellow employee;
- Giving inappropriate gifts, invading personal space, and stalking;
- Any form of inappropriate touching (other than a professional handshake);
- Discriminating in hiring, firing, promotion, or demotion based on someone’s gender
These are examples of some very common cases of sexual harassment in the work environment, but there are many others that result in legal complications on a regular basis.
Wasatch Defense Lawyers Are Sexual Harassment Attorneys in Utah
Our Utah defense lawyers have represented clients in defending against sexual harassment claims in State and federal courts. If you have been accused of sexual harassment in Utah, contact us today for a free case review.