Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when one or more of the following is true: 1.) A person feels that submission to the conduct is necessary to get or keep a job, 2.) A person feels that employment decisions such as raises, promotions, and demotions depend on whether he or she submits to or rejects the conduct, and 3.) The conduct interferes with a person's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment. Both men and woman can be victims of sexual harassment, and either a man or woman can be a harasser. "According to a recent Supreme Court decision, illegal sexual harassment may be found even where the victim is the same sex as the harasser,"" (Wise 48). The person complaining of sexual harassment does not have to be the person at whom the conduct was directed; it can be someone else who was affected by the conduct. Harassment can occur at work, at company sponsored events, or between coworkers away from work. Several types of sexual harassment exist, and if the conduct is welcome, harassment has not occurred but could cause difficulties down the line. Sexual harassment is defined by law and interpreted by the EEOC and the courts. .
Legally, several factors determine which form of sexual harassment exists, and whether the conditions violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In practice there are two basic forms, one being quid pro quo or "this for that,"" or a hostile environment created at work by others. Sexual harassment can be difficult to prove and distinguish from the average horseplay that can occur in any workplace. Among these is whether the conduct occurs more than once, is severe or humiliating, if the conduct interferes unreasonably with work performance, and if the harasser has power over the victim. If the problem of harassment has only occurred once or a few times over a period of several months it is likely to be deemed merely as horseplay.