Sexual Harrasment Essay, Research Paper
The issue that I have chosen to research for the policy and procedures team is sexual harassment in the workplace. The present policy contained in the associate handbook states the following: Sexual harassment can take many forms. It includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other visual, verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when a person’s employment with Sears depends on submission to the conduct; submission to or rejection of the conduct affects employment decisions concerning the person; or such conduct unreasonably interface with a person’s work performance or create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. Any violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. Also, we have a brochure about this issue in the break room. Yearly, there is a focus meeting with every associate to remind them how the company prohibits all forms of sexual harassment. The following paragraphs will discuss the research I found that was missing in our company and information on how to inform our associates about sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment, like rape, is not primarily a sexual event. It is an exercise in POWER over another person. The offender achieves a form of dominance by making sexual advances or comments to someone who is not in a positions to respond effectively. The result is often a host of psychological and even physical problem for the target. The federal judges arrived at their decision in two ways. The first way that if an employer made an employees life so miserable that the employee could not take it any longer and quit. The second way states Title VII says employers cannot discriminate with respect to the “conditions” of employment. The company’s definition of sexual harassment is similar to the one that I found in my research on this issue.
The area that our company may want to look into is how an associate can prevent sexual harassment. Some of the key points are: how you dress, don’t do social service tasks, and avoid “courtship behavior.” The area of dressing to go to work may cause sexual harassment if the associate does not watch what they are wearing, associates should dress appropriately for the office. The next area is concerned with social service tasks such as getting the person lunch or any non work related activity. This will cause “you owe me on” and may lead to other things. The last area pertains to avoiding “courtship behavior,” which is non verbal communication. People may take this the wrong way and the results can lead to comments or actions that would interrupt the work place. These points can be related back to the associate during the focus meeting.
The last area the policy and procedures team can look at is how the management can improve the way they handle sexual harassment in the work place. Luckily, this company hasn’t had to make many reports. Some points to cover are: to keep work quality high, get respect for the associate and keep a diary of sexual harassment reports. Keeping the work quality relates to having the associate do their work and not having the time to do other things which can keep someone from reporting a sexual harassment case. This can lead the associate to a more comfortable feeling and continue their communications with management about things that are happening in the work place. The diary idea is a good one because it is the first step in establishing the sexual harassment case.
The research that I found on sexual harassment will help with any revisions the company may make on policies of this subject. My suggestion is to give more information during the focus meetings such as how to prevent sexual harassment in the work place. Also, to train the management team how to handle a sexual harassment case when it occurs.