Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Sexual harassment in the workplace has existed since men and women started working. Yet the term sexual harassment and the problem of sexual harassment were not legally and publicly recognized until the 1970s in the United States and later in other countries. Historical accounts of sexual harassment in shipyards, factories, and department stores demonstrate that women and men experienced various forms of unwanted sexual behaviors at work, but there was no name for it nor any possibility of legal recourse. When the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed by the U.S. Congress, including protections for sex discrimination in Title VII, the door was opened for the creation of sexual harassment as a legal wrong. In the 1970s, sexual harassment complaints started to appear in the legal arena. Combined with the momentum of the women's movement, support from prominent feminist legal scholars, and media attention, sexual harassment became defined as National ...