We’re going to have an uncomfortable conversation. Are you ready? Let’s talk about how to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.
While sexual harassment laws have been in place for years, most companies have policies against it, as well. Why is this? Well, some people don’t go through and read every law regarding discrimination and harassment. However, a company stating that they have a specific policy against it keeps them covered if an employee steps out of line. Several companies also require a harassment course / quiz to be taken by each employee at the time of employment. This ensures that the employees understand the policies, as well as the consequences.
Many people think that women are the only victims of workplace harassment, but that just isn’t true. Women are often found to be quiet about the inappropriate behaviors of others – they don’t want to receive retaliation, they are often told to “just ignore him” or “brush it off,” and it’s unfortunately not uncommon for women to be fired over exposing harassment. Men, on the other hand, are probably even less likely to say something. Men are seen as creatures who don’t mind being on the receiving end of inappropriate comments, but this is only a stereotype. Men are also afraid of retaliation, but even have their manhood challenged if they report something of this nature.
Sexual harassment in the workplace isn’t exactly black-and-white. What one person means can be completely misconstrued and unintentionally by the recipient. Because of this, though, it’s important to have very clear cut markers between what is appropriate and not. One way to prevent any of these issues is by banning interoffice romantic relationships. If no one can date, then there shouldn’t be any flirting or creepy pick-up lines, right? Besides, this also preemptively addresses the post-break-up awkwardness that can occur when ex’s see each other at work.
Truly consider if your company could benefit from some sort of training. These days, this is a hot topic and all potential issues can be avoided if this is addressed effectively and quickly.