Denominational Leaders

Continuing education for ministry leaders
Denominational Leaders
Weekly Lessons, created and written by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA, give you a basic legal overview of essential topics based on staff or volunteer positions within a church.

This Week's LessonWeek of December 29

Sexual Harassment

Introduction

Our lesson this week examines the topic of sexual harassment. The Executive Summary provides a concise review of the key points. Before we get started, test your knowledge by completing the following quiz.

A denominational agency has 25 employees and is engaged in interstate commerce. One of its male supervisory employees uses sexually suggestive language with a female subordinate over several weeks. The employee complains to a denominational officer. The denomination has no sexual harassment policy, and the officer decides to do nothing about the complaint.

Weekly Quiz

Instructions Click on the correct answer for each of the following questions.

Executive Summary

Sexual harassment in employment is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Generally, denominational agencies engaged in interstate commerce and having at least 15 employees are subject to Title VII, and so the ban on sexual harassment in employment applies to them. Sexual harassment consists of both "quid pro quo" harassment and "hostile environment" harassment. An employer is automatically liable for supervisory employees' acts of harassment, but a defense is available to claims of hostile environment harassment if they have adopted a written harassment policy and an alleged victim fails to pursue remedies available under the policy. In some cases, an employer may be liable for acts of sexual harassment committed by nonsupervisory employees, and even nonemployees.

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations."

Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.

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