This paper aims to cast light on the legal aspects of a problem which in the past, because of its nature, has largely gone unrecognised and become part and parcel of working life. The paper seeks to provide an overview of the current legal treatment of sexual favouritism in the UK and USA and recommends how it can be improved.
The law in the USA is chosen for comparison because they have a system of employment law which is more longstanding and because the volume of cases dealt with there provides more examples than that in the UK. The law in this area is analysed through consideration of the relevant legal decisions and statutes and codes of practice that apply in both jurisdictions.
This article highlights the key issues for victims and employees involved in sexual relationships with their supervisor at work and encourages employers to take steps to combat this practice. It will also hopefully persuade the judiciary to interpret the existing law to provide a remedy to its victims or legislators to introduce specific legal protection for them.
Unfortunately there is a dearth of legal cases dealing with sexual favouritism in the UK and very few commentators writing on this issue. Sexual favouritism is regarded as an acceptable practice at work by employers and managers and there are no plans for changing the law to provide protection to its victims in both jurisdictions. Hopefully this article will serve to persuade employers to combat this behaviour in the workplace and convince the judiciary and Parliament to change the law in favour of victims of sexual favouritism. Primary research into the incidence rate of sexual favouritism and its impact in the workplace would be extremely useful to underpin the conclusions of this paper.
This paper examines for the first time the legal rights both of victims of sexual favouritism and of employees involved in a sexual relationship and includes a comparison between the legal rules dealing with this issue in the United Kingdom and the USA. It will be of particular value to human resource managers and line managers who have to deal with this issue in the workplace and legal representatives who are called upon to represent victims in their legal claims.
CitationDownload as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited