Much like discrimination (see Discrimination section), harassment based on protected categories of persons is not allowed. Not only is your employer forbidden from conducting this harassment directly, it has a duty to quickly and adequately respond to complaints of harassment at the hands of other persons and to maintain a harassment-free workspace. There are two categories of harassment:

Quid Pro Quo Harassment:

Coming from the Latin meaning “this for that”, quid pro quo harassment is when an employer attempts to improperly use its authority over its employees for personal benefit. Often seen in sexual harassment situations, an employer may attempt to coerce an employee in submitting to sexual advances by either tying submission to job benefits (such as granting raises, vacation time, or other benefits) or by threatening to take some negative employment action (such as demotion, reassignment, or termination).

Hostile Work Environment:

Harassment also exists when an employee experiences a workplace atmosphere where unwelcome behavior is either pervasive or extreme. The employer has a duty to maintain a harassment-free workplace, and will be held responsible, not only if it is directly responsible for the improper conduct, but also if it allows harassment committed by others to continue.