Male-on-male sexual harassment is usually determined by the same standard as male-on-female incidents. It must be inappropriate, unwanted behavior of a sexual nature. Although behavior can be in different forms, the conduct of the harasser must be either severe or it must be pervasive to be considered sexual harassment. There are a variety of circumstances that this behavior can occur. This can include but are not limited to the following:
Unwelcome sexual advances include request for sexual favors or any verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. This can include the harasser continually making explicit or implicit proposals of sexual activity or any continued verbal sexual comments. The victim should inform the harasser directly that the conduct is unwelcomed and that it must stop immediately.
Certainly, touching or grabbing an intimate body part is sexual harassment. The harassment does not have to occur several times. Same-sex harassment has been recognized by the courts for over twenty years. Courts have ruled that a few incidents of unwanted touching or requests for sex were severe enough to constitute a hostile work environment. The harasser can be the victim’s co-worker, supervisor, or even a non-employee.
The majority of truck drivers are men. The majority of trainers are also men. When these new drivers are placed with a trainer they assume that it is simply a working relationship. They believe that the trainer is there to help them with their skills and teach them the ropes so to speak. Some trainees have reported instances where they have been awakened to find their trainer attempting to get into the bed with them to initiate some type of sexual experience. Drivers have also reported instances that their supervisors promised them better loads, more miles, etc. if they would only submit to their sexual requests. This is clearly sexual harassment.
When EEOC investigates allegations of sexual harassment, this agency looks at the entire record and circumstances of each case. This would include the nature of the sexual advances as well as the context in which the alleged incidents occurred. This allows to EEOC to make a determination on the allegations from the facts presented on a case-by-case basis.
Victims should keep careful records of any and all sexual harassment that occur and to make sure that these incidents have been reported to the appropriate dept. of the employer. Victims also need to know that it is unlawful for a company to retaliate against an individual for filing complaints against harassers. Employers are required by law to provide safe working conditions for employees.