According to the Iowa Civil Rights Act, it is prohibited for any company with more than four workers to discriminate against anyone based on their gender, pregnancy, or any conditions related to their pregnancy, their sexual orientation, or their gender identity. It is illegal to harass anyone according to gender characteristics in a workplace environment or beyond.
What kinds of behaviors constitute sexual harassment according to the Iowa Civil Rights Act?
There are various kinds of misconduct and inappropriate behaviors that can constitute sexual harassment. Things like nonconsensual touching, inappropriate or lewd remarks, derogatory comments made about someone’s gender or sexuality, unwelcome propositions, or displaying explicit and sexually charged images are all ways that people can make a work environment hostile. In legal terms, a “hostile work environment” is created when someone systematically and pervasively offends, intimidates, threatens or otherwise makes a workplace hostile to workers. Creating a hostile environment is just one form of sexual harassment.
Another form of sexual harassment is called “quid pro quo.” Based on a Latin phrase, it basically means, “If you do this, then I will do that.” If you are sexually harassed through quid pro quo, it means that someone has requested a sexual act or favor from you, and in exchange they have offered you an advancement or perk in your career.
Another example of quid pro quo would be if someone made a request for a sexual act or favor and either implicitly or explicitly made you feel as if your failure to comply would be detrimental to your work status, such as being denied a promotion or even terminated.