Sexual Harassment

It is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person’s sex. Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.

Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person’s sex. For example, it is illegal to harass a woman by making offensive comments about women in general.

Both victim and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the victim and harasser can be the same sex.

Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).

The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.

If you think you have been sexually harassed;

  • Tell the harasser that the behavior is inappropriate, unwelcome, and the behavior must stop.
  • If the behavior continues, elevate the issue to your supervisor (next level of supervision if complaint is against supervisor).
  • Contact the Virginia National Guard Equal Employment Opportunity Office.

When making a complaint;

  • There is no anonymity for allegations of sexual harassment. Any employee who observes conduct that could be sexual harassment should report the behavior to a supervisor or the Virginia National Guard EEO Office.
  • While it is recommended that all complaints be addressed at the lowest level, an employee can bypass the aggressor, supervisor, and make direct contact with the Virginia National Guard EEO official if the situation warrants.
  • All reports of sexual harassment will be investigated fully and promptly.
  • There will be no retaliation for reporting sexual harassment or filing a sexual harassment complaint.
  • The Virginia National Guard Equal Employment Opportunity office accepts anonymous complaints of third person (person reporting on behalf of another) reporting. It is important to understand that the individual reporting may remain anonymous, however, the allegation must be investigated.
  • To contact the Virginia National Guard Equal Employment Opportunity Office please call 804-236-7739.