Reporting Sexual Harassment
No employee is required to work in an unwelcome sexually hostile work environment. Reporting such conduct is important and necessary. Once reported, the employer has an obligation to take prompt, effective remedial action to make it stop.
Severe or Pervasive Conduct
Not all forms of sexual harassment or hostile environment rise to the level necessary to permit legal action. To be subject to legal action, the sexually harassing conduct must be either severe or pervasive. The more severe the conduct (e.g., rape, sexual assault, groping), the less pervasive it must be to violate the law. On the other hand, less egregious conduct that occurs daily or weekly over a period of time also creates an illegal sexually hostile work environment. Also, in most cases, the employer itself (the company) is not liable unless it knows something is going on to create the sexually hostile environment and fails to stop it, which means that a complaint and request that the conduct stop is usually required.