Sexual harassment incidents commonly happen in the workplace in the here and now. Nowadays, media is playing a great role in making people aware of the sexual harassment incidents happening in organizations. This awareness has discouraged most people to commit this kind of practice in the workplace. Strict actions are taken against individuals who try to commit this type of action in the workplace. Yet we can read news about such incidents in the newspaper on a daily basis. According to statistics, 16% of men and 31% of women experience sexual harassment in the workplace (nationally). Why? Read on to find out more.
First of all, let us have a look at the definition of sexual harassment. We shall cover two legal definitions of this term. First definition is known as Quid Pro Quo and the second one is termed as Work Environment harassment. Now, Quid Pro Quo refers to “something in exchange of something”. Here the benefit of a job is associated with submitting to a sexual wish. For example, when a manager asks her employee to spend a night with him and in exchange, he will promote her. Hostile Work Environment harassment is a situation where an employee has to tolerate unwanted sexual pictures, words or sexual contact. In this kind of harassment, there is no involvement of job loss or gain. To take a legal action against this kind of harassment, the harassment incident should be of recurring nature. In other words, a single incident is usually not enough to make a claim against the harasser.
Due to increasing number of sexual incidents in the workplace, the Supreme Court took strict actions and made employers more liable for this nature of harassment done to workers and employees. According to law, the victim of sexual harassment can file a claim against the employer if he or she does not take any action against the sexual harasser despite being aware of the situation. In another situation, if the employer fires or demotes an employee due to their denial to a sexual invitation, then the law holds the employer liable. Employers are responsible to keep the workplace peaceful for the employees. If they do nothing to prevent such sexual incidents in the workplace, then they should be held liable.
The most effective and easiest way to prevent harassment in the workplace is to formulate a clear policy against such incidents and to train employees on a regular basis. You can find a whole host of sexual harassment training DVDs on the market. In these videos, you can find examples of different types of harassment in the workplace. These training DVDs are very helpful for employers who want to train their employees to prevent harassment at work. Most of these training packages consist of forms and employee handouts along with leader’s guide in order to assist employers in giving training without hiring an expert or consultant. So, these are a few things you should keep in mind in order to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.