Michigan Sexual Harassment laws & HR compliance analysis

Michigan Sexual Harassment: What you need to know

The Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act prohibits Michigan employers from discriminating on the basis of sex, including sexual harassment (MI Comp. Laws Sec. 37.2101et seq.). The Act applies to all employers and includes an agent of the employer.
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Sex. The definition of sex includes pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition, but does not include nontherapeutic abortion not intended to save the life of the mother.
Sexual harassment. The definition of sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct, or communication of a sexual nature when:
• Submission to the conduct or communication is made a term or condition of employment.
• Submission to or rejection of the conduct or communication is used as a factor in employment decisions.
• The conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s employment, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment environment.
The Michigan Department of Civil Rights has published a brochure on sexual harassment that is available online at http://www.michigan.gov.
Same-sex harassment. The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled that same-sex harassment violates the state's Civil Rights Act (Robinson v. Ford Motor Co., 744 NW2d 363 (Mich. Ct. App. 2007)). In this case, the employee alleged that he had been continually harassed by a male coworker and that the harassment, including incidents of physical contact, created a hostile work environment. The employer argued that state law did not apply to same-sex harassment. In reaching its decision, the state court applied federal case law because the language of Title VII of the Civil ...

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