What Qualifies As Sexual Harassment Under Pennsylvania Laws?

The unsolicited and unlawful offer of advantages in exchange for sexual favors, as well as the use of explicit or implicit sexual overtones, are all examples of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment may come in a variety of ways, from minor violations to sexual abuse or violence. Harassment may occur in several social settings, such as the workplace, home, school, and churches.

 Sexual assault is a person engaging in sexual intercourse or deviant sexual intercourse with another person without their permission, and it is a felony in Pennsylvania. The defendant may have committed statutory sexual assault if the victim was under the age of 16, the defendant was over four years older than the victim, and they were not married at the time of the behavior. A sex crime lawyer can determine what specific type of sex offense was committed and the consequences it holds.

 In Pennsylvania, there is also a crime called “indecent assault.” In some respects, indecent assault resembles sexual assault. It involves inappropriate contact with the victim, involving the victim coming into touch with the defendant’s seminal fluid, urine, or excrement to arouse sexual desire in either the victim or the defendant, and it is carried out without the victim’s consent, forcibly or under threat of force, or while the victim is severely incapacitated.

 Statutory Definition of Sexual Assault

When a person does sexual activities or deviates from sexual intercourse with a complainant without the complainant’s permission, he or she commits a crime of the second degree.

 Statutory Definition of Indecent Sexual Assault 

Indecent assault occurs when a person makes indecent contact with the complainant, induces the complainant to make inappropriate contact with the person, or knowingly exposes the complainant to seminal fluid, urine, or feces to stimulate sexual desire in the person or the complainant. But what is considered sexual harassment under Pennsylvania laws? Here are several examples of actions that are regarded as sexual harassment in Pennsylvania.

 Here are some acts that qualify as sexual harassment under Pennsylvania laws


  • A person engages in sexual activity without the agreement of the complainant.
  • Forcible coercion is used to perform sexual activities.
  • A person commits sexual actions under the threat of forceful coercion, which would prohibit a person of reasonable resolve from resisting.
  • Even if the complainant is unconscious or knows the complainant is ignorant of the indecent touch, the person still performs sexual actions.
  • A person does sexual activities by considerably weakening the complainant’s ability to evaluate or control their behavior by giving or utilizing medicines, intoxicants, or other methods to prevent resistance without the complainant’s awareness.
  • A person does sexual acts even if the complainant has a mental disability which renders the complainant incapable of consent.
  • A person engages in sexual activity even if the complainant is under the age of 13 or 16, the complainant and the person are not married, and the person is four years older than the complainant.

 Here is an example of how Pennsylvania handles cases related to sexual assault.

 Sexual harassment at work

Sexual harassment has severe consequences for people, businesses, and entire communities. Employers increasingly recognize the value of proactive measures to ensure and promote a safer workplace for their employees. The first step is to respond correctly to sexual harassment when it occurs.

 Unwelcome sexual words, gestures, or physical touch are all examples of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is treated as a criminal offense when it occurs frequently or severely enough to create a hostile or unpleasant work environment, interferes with an employee’s job performance, or influences employment decisions, such as dismissal or demoting the victim.

 The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) has released advice suggesting that sex discrimination complaints would be accepted based on sex assigned at birth, sexual orientation, transgender identification, gender transition, gender identity, and gender expression. According to an Executive Order, state agencies in Pennsylvania are forbidden from discriminating against employees based on their gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.





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