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This discussion of boundaries would not be complete without a discussion of legal issues arising when boundaries are violated. We have mainly focused on the issues of sexual abuse regarding the power imbalance. But what about the vague but much legally defined area of sexual harassment? Could a client of yours claim sexual harassment by you based upon a misconstrued remark or gesture? For this reason I feel it is important to finish this course with some clarification of legal issues. Use this section as a yardstick and think of a client you are treating or have treated who has the potential to take legal action.
harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited
to the following:
It is helpful for the victim to directly inform the harasser that the conduct is unwelcome and must stop. The victim should use any employer complaint mechanism or grievance system available.
When investigating allegations of sexual harassment, EEOC looks at the whole record: the circumstances, such as the nature of the sexual advances, and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred. A determination on the allegations is made from the facts on a case-by-case basis.
Industries v. Ellerth, and Faragher v. City of Boca Raton
Sexual Boundary Violations by Health Professionals -
- Halter, M. Brown, H., and Stone, J. (2007). Sexual Boundary Violations by Health Professionals – an overview of the published empirical literature. The Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence.
Reflection Exercise #6
Ethics CEU QUESTION
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