Sexual harassment in the workplace is a severe problem that affects many employees and organizations. Research shows that 90% of the Fortune 500 companies have at one time or the other deal with a complaint of this type of harassment. And more than a third of them have faced lawsuits related to this issue. It’s also a fact that this problem is not limited to the largest or most profitable organizations.
Recognizing Sexual Harassment
It is important for everyone who supervises employees to have a solid knowledge of what sexual harassment is and to know how to recognize the implicit and explicit warning signs of dangers that put employees and companies at risk. While some occurrences of sexual harassment in the workplace might be obvious, this is not true in all situations.
Managers who are not properly trained often allow risky behaviours to take place simply because they do not fully understand what is considered harassment. A proper employee training course on workplace sexual harassment should be held in order to make all of them aware of the bad behaviours and their potential consequences to prevent this from occurring.
While many supervisors realize that there are two forms of sexual harassment 1 quid pro quo and 2 hostile work environments, many of them don’t realize that there is such a thing as third party harassment. They are often staggered to learn that harassment complaints can legitimately be made by workers not directly impacted by harassing behaviours at work, yet who are subject to observing or being exposed to implicit or explicit conduct of a sexual nature in the workplace.
Preventing and Responding to Harassment
In addition to knowing how to recognize harassment, managers must know why it’s necessary to be proactive in putting a stop to such actions, as well as how to do so. Many supervisors are shocked to learn that their companies are liable for sexual harassment that occurs in the workplace whether or not they were aware it is taking or has taken, place.
It’s vital that managers know the appropriate way to respond to complaints of sexual harassment if such is made, regardless of whether or not they believe the allegations to be valid. An appropriate training session can not only help them to recognize and understand the workplace harassment but also make them knowledgeable with the suitable actions to take against this conduct.