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“Sexual Harassment Should Not Be Tolerated At The Workplace”.

Essay by   •  July 18, 2011  •  2,177 Words (9 Pages)  •  2,661 Views

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In the age of high powered lawsuits and increasing bankruptcies, companies cannot afford any misstep. Hence, firms are encouraged to portray their corporate profile and culture as transparently as possible to the public audience to ensure that all company’s communications and concerns are disclosed (Russel et al., 2007). However, internal issues such as sexual harassment and workplace romances are still shadowed and concealed. These two norms of the workplace may seem undisruptive to many but large, newsworthy events and setback had happened and it has long haunt the performances of a company. Sexual harassments and romances in workplace involve people, the article that matter most to a company because people are the one who plan, lead, organize and control a company’s performance. Thus, these issues have indirect measure in effecting the efficiency and effectiveness of a company as seen in Mitsubishi, Boeing and Ford (Kiser et al, 2006)

As defined under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in 1980, any unwelcome sexual advances, verbal or physical conduct which affects individual’s employment or creating an intimidating and offensive work environment are classified as sexual harassment (Sexual Harassment Support, n.d.). Sexual harassment happens to both men and women, with a majority being the proclaimed “weaker-link” of the community вЂ" women. As proven, a statistic on sexual harassment underscores the seriousness with a percentage of 64 military females reported that they had endured harassment in service in the US Defense Department in the year 1990 (Eichelberger and Barton, 1994). However, the statement is highly debatable as harassment can happen anywhere and anytime, in regards their age or gender. With the increasingly high court cases on sexual harassment, the Supreme Court has drew it lines on harassment and noted that teasing, off-hand comments, isolated incidents and the sporadic use of abusive language are thus not harassment (Sexual Harassment Support, n.d.).

Sexual harassment happens when there are intentions of pressuring another party to offer sexual gratification to excel in the workplace. These actions must be treated off seriously and organizations cannot wait for an employee to file a claim in court. It should be prevented from happening as it will upset the emotions and physics of someone besides affecting the performance of the company directly. Rationales explain that it happen out of general workplace relationships where two parties are not communicating effectively (Bland, 2000). This issue if managed carelessly will then result in a whole lot of complications for the company. For example, a New York-based airline consulting firm from Simat, Helliesen and Eichner (SH&E) had paid a total of $2.3 million monetary damages to four female employees who complained that they were subjected to a hostile sexually charged work environment and the EEOC had concluded that SH&E failed to take prompt and appropriate action to end the harassment (The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2003). Hence, the effects were illustrated. Furthermore, with the action taken by the employees and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the company’s productivity is indirectly affected as well.

The only way possible to avoid and tackle sexual harassment is to educate employees of the companies on the threats and their rights. Statistics have shown that many cases have gone unreported as victims are reluctant in fear of losing their hobs or hurting their careers (Sexual Harassment Support, n.d.). Besides that, the contemporary mindset of nothing can be done to stop the harassment, embarrassment, shame or guilt too contributes to the unwillingness to report (Ibid). Policies should also be set up in the company to protect the employees of the company. Furthermore, managers should be trained to be in the front line to tackle the complaints lodged by the employees at any point of time as sexual harassment shall not be tolerated.

People are normally engrossed and tied down due to common interest, when they are all sharing the same concentration working towards one goal for 40-plus hours per week; chemistry is bound to happen between two parties. Romance blossom at work very easily and often than not, it ends in bitterness leaving the organization vulnerable to many circumstances. It is impossible to prevent romances in workplace as romances due to the fact that it happens between two people and it will happen anywhere, anytime with anyone from the Chief Executive Officer and Secretary or intern and President. Office romances have all these while been a natural occurrence in the workplace and are notorious for favouritism, workloads increased, discrimination and retaliation (Office Romance, 2007).

Findings have been shown by Vault.com that 47% of the workforce have been involve in office romances before and more than 19% of the workforce are willing to try given the opportunity (Lorenz, 2007). This statistic shows how the mentality of employees have changed throughout the years especially with the increasing number of women in the workforce and the increment of working hours per day which resulted into lesser free time and more time spent in the office where the all eligible singles are. These indirectly increase the chances of being involved in a workplace romance.

However, love in workplace should be regulated to avoid the circumstances listed above as well. To ban the employees of the company from being involved would be ridiculous as we are dealing with humans filled with emotions, thus around 20% of the companies have actually adopted a co-worker dating policy to safeguard the company and their employees and encourage practises and disclosures to avoid any mishaps in future (Jackson Lewis, 2005). This is due to the fact that many workplace romance who turns out awful ends up in court with many unnecessary complications which indirectly affects the company (Ibid.) With the provision of guidelines and policies implemented, it will help create a fair work atmosphere, and underscore their legitimate preference for a productive environment (Meyer, H 2005). Consequently, employees are encouraged by the management to be up-front and honest about their relationship and many firms have also organized training sessions for their employee to ensure that they are well aware of all the liabilities and consequences that they might face getting involved in a workplace relationship.

Sexual harassment and workplace romance are both very similar in the sense that both are a form of communication, except that workplace romances are responsive and voluntary while sexual harassment is not. In the code of ethics, these issues are mentioned and are well defined to ensure that employees work

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