Recognizing Sexual Harassment In The Workplace
harassment is a sexual advance, whether pysical or verbal. These all become
harassment when rejection or submission to such advances affect the employment
of an individual, or if it affects the performance at work of a person.
This means even jokes can count as harassment. There are many instances
where sexual harassment occurs. The following are some of the examples
of it, however keep in mind that they are not limited only to the following:
1. Man or woman sexual harasser
Keep in mind that the victim doesn't have to be a woman - it could bee
a man. Harassment includes both physical or verbal conduct or advances.
This conduct is just as common for both sexes, only men report it less
to the police.
2. It's all about control
Keep in mind that the one who is doing the harassing may be the supervisor
of the victim, it could be the victims boss, the agent of the employer,
a fellow worker, or someone who is not an employee. What sexual harassment
is, it is a need for control. And anyone who has a need for this and gets
it via being sexually aggressive could be constituted as a harasser.
3. The victim could be you
Also, a victim of sexual harassment need not be the particular person
who is harassed. A sexual harassment victim could just be anyone who is
affected by any conduct that is offensive. What is important is that the
actions and overall conduct of the harasser is completely unwelcome.
It is also extremely important and helpful for any victim of sexual harassment
to inform directly the perceived harasser if their conduct is offensive
or completely unwelcome, and so therefore must be stopped. As much as
possible, the victim should make use of any mechanisms available in the
system, such as a grievance complaint perhaps.
4. Intimidation and hostility
These are the feelings or overall vibe of a workplace when there exists
an environment where sexual harassment is present. Fortunately, the Supreme
Court of the United States have made employers liable for any sexual harassment
that occurs within their own local workplaces. This applies even if the
employer was himself not aware of any harassment that occurs. This is
simply because it is one of the employers responsibility to create a work
atmosphere that is free from sexual harassment, intimidation or hostility.
Prevention is worth more than a pound of cure
Prevention is always worth it more than a cure or tons of cases filed
because there was no effective system in place to deal with sexual harassment
in the first place. Employers must always communicate to their staff that
any and all forms of harassment sexual or otherwise is not tolerable.
A complaint and effective grievance system would work best, with actions
appropriately taken once a complaint is filed by an employee.
5. Make an anti-sexual harassment policy
It would serve everyones good if a program in the workplace exists that
outlines in detail the policy that the company stands for that is against
sexual harassment and make every employee sign it. It is to be kept in
each ones personnel file.
Employees should also be notified of their particular rights and to report
immediately any incidents of sexual harassment. Of course, the atmosphere
where employees air and file their complaints must be open and free from
6. Train everyone concerned
Appropriately educating everyone in the workplace, from supervisors to
managers to all of the employees concerned about their role in the company
and their behavior while inside the workplace is important in establishing
boundaries on how to act.
The issue is quite real and serious even today, and should not be brushed
off as not important. It affects every aspect of the work environment
and if not addressed appropriately it could bring down the law on the
work place and could even financially affect the whole organization. It
is important therefore to put in place pro-active measures to prevent
unnecessary misunderstanding later on. If you can set a positive example
the entire system will continue to run smoothly. If not, sexual harassment
could crop up again and again.
For more great sexual harassment related articles and resources check