The 5 Most Dangerous Threats Lurking at Work! #2 - Sexual Harassment
Updated: Jan 29, 2020
#2 You know it’s going on, but it doesn’t bother you, you actually think it’s pretty funny! Everyone laughs and no one has complained about the jokes or the looks Joe gives Pat. If Pat doesn’t complain, then there’s no problem, right? WRONG – you know that #metoo movement you’ve heard about? That’s some of the result of whistling by the graveyard of Sexual Harassment!
Sexual Harassment is one of those things that the workplace has been talking about for decades – and to be quite frank – it IS MUCH better now than before. Because of the awareness that has been raised in the workplace – employees understand more clearly what is and what isn’t sexual harassment.
The problem has been that the consequences for sexual harassment in many cases wasn’t very severe – a “don’t do that again speech” or go to Sexual Harassment training, though sometimes that can be painful – it is not a serious consequence for a very serious, unprofessional and inappropriate workplace behavior. Sexual harassment can be experienced by both men and women. It is a very degrading situation and a big threat to your business.
One of the questions that is often asked in Sexual Harassment Training – “how would you like your wife, daughter, mother, husband, son, or father to be treated based on the basis of their sex – making fun of them, objectifying them, making them feel that their job depends on their behavior?” It is not an acceptable work environment – there is no place for a dirty ol’ (or young) man or woman at work.
Finally women and some men are speaking up and saying they’ve had enough and this has to stop – thanks to the #metoo movement! As with all things though, there is another side to the coin – with sexual harassment, its people being accused of things they really didn’t do. Remember – you are innocent until proven guilty! That has seemed to have gotten lost in some of the #metoo excitement.
As employers, you have to be certain that when a complaint of inappropriate behavior is raised, you investigate it – you take the action to look into it – you talk to people to find out what is going on – you don’t just go with what you“know”. If it is happening, you take serious action – disciplinary action, based upon the seriousness of the situation. If youknow it’s going on – don’t “whistle past the graveyard” – put a stop to it – before someone has to complain! You know when it’s inappropriate – do the right thing for your employees and give them a workplace free from harassment!
Internal Investigations can be a challenge. Get my free, step-by-step Internal Investigation Guidelines to help you conduct an effective internal investigation.