Treasury inspector general for tax administration

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Disability harassment is unwanted behavior based on disability, impairment or additional need. Disability harassment may take the form of inappropriate reference to disability, unwelcome discussion of the impact of disability, or a refusal to work with people with disabilities. A person with a disability is described as one who:

a. Has a physical or mental impairment, or

b. Has a record of such impairment, or
c. Is regarded as having such impairment.

    • Sexual orientation harassment is unwanted behavior based on known or presumed sexual orientation. Such behavior may take the form of name calling, stereotyping, assault, verbal abuse, or actual or threatened unwanted disclosure of sexuality.

    • Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that involves unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

      1. Submission to such conduct is made either implicitly or explicitly, a term or condition of a person’s job, pay, or career.

      2. Such conduct unreasonably interferes with an individual’s performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.

A victim of sexual harassment can be either male or female. Two types of recognized sexual harassment are:

  • Quid Pro Quo – “if you do this for me, I will do that for you.” It can occur when an individual who is in a position to affect employment benefits (management/supervision, etc.) of another individual asks for favors of a sexual nature in order to provide those working benefits (i.e., promotion, good schedule, lighter workload, etc.)

  • Hostile Work Environment – unwelcome conduct that unreasonably interferes with an individual’s job performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment, such as:

    • Remarks about a person’s clothing or appearance;

    • Harassing or abusive remarks regarding an individual’s sexual activities or gender;

  • Sexually oriented jokes, stories, remarks or discussions;

  • Depictions of sexual acts;

  • Posting of sexually explicit or graphic pictures;

  • Deliberate touching, patting, or giving inappropriate looks to another person;

  • Pressure for dates or sexual activity;

  • Unwelcome telephone calls, letters of a sexual nature; and

  • Demands for sexual favors.

Under some circumstances, the unlawful harassment of one individual may contribute to the existence of a hostile work environment as to other individuals in that protected group, even if they were not the recipients of that harassment.

Some examples of physical and non-physical sexual harassment include:

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