Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits sexual harassment. Under Title VII there are two categories of sexual harassment: quid pro quo sexual harassment and hostile work environment.
Hostile Work Environment: A hostile work environment is when an employee suffers harm because he or she confronts unwelcomed comments and conduct of a sexual nature. The standard for a hostile work environment under federal law must be one that is severe and/or pervasive.
Quid Pro Quo This type of harassment exists when an employee’s supervisor (or another authority in the company with decision making powers) demands a favor of a sexual nature in exchange for taking employment actions. Such employment actions can include but are not limited to promoting an employee, giving the employee a raise, promising to not fire the employee, or threatening to take away vacation days from the employee.