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According to the EEOC, "Harassment can include 'sexual harassment' or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature." The EEOC also explains that the victim can be harassed by a co-worker, an outside vendor or visitor to the workplace, or the employee's supervisor.It is in this latter instance, where the relationships between supervisors and employees can become a problem in the workplace.
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The laws are in place to protect both the employee as well as the employer or organization.
Since employers can be held responsible in states such as California for the actions of their supervisors, there are regulations and requirements for sexual harassment training for all managers in an organization with fifty or more employees.
Other employees who notice the relationship may claim a hostile work environment has been created by the ongoing relationship between a supervisor and his or her subordinate. Department of Corrections (2005), the courts determined in the case of a prison warden who had sexual relationships with three of his subordinates that employers should be held responsible for a supervisor's actions in sexual harassment situations.
The guidelines for sexual harassment are outlined in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) explains the definitions and instances of sexual harassment in detail.