With All Due RespectA Harassment Free Workplace
To Help Raise Awareness, Prevent and Report Sexual Harassment.• Know and understand that harassment is illegal• Help you know that your Employer will not tolerate any harassment• Recognize the forms of harassment• Become familiar with your harassment policy• Learn how to confront harassment
It’s Still An Issue• According to the U.S. equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), in fiscal year 2000, almost 16,000 sexual harassment charges were filed nationwide. Monetary benefits for victims totaled nearly $55 million.
More Likely to Occur• Where employees don’t perceive management as taking claims seriously• Takes adverse action against those who do speak out• Where administrators inadequately and inconsistently enforce policies
Most Harassers Are Men• 90 percent males to females• 5 percent females to males• 4 percent males to males• 1 percent females to female
Types of Offenders• The deliberate• The unaware• The uncontrollable
Harassment• Illegal when employer, supervisor, or co-worker harasses a person because of their race, color, creed, ancestry, national origin, age (40 up), disability, sex, arrest or conviction record, marital status, sexual orientation or membership in the military reserve.
Sexual Harassment• Sexual harassment includes unwelcome advances, requests for sexual favors and verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: – Submission is made an implicit or explicit term or condition of employment – Submission or rejection of the conduct is used for the basis for an employment decision affecting the employee – The conduct interferes with an employee’s work or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
Same-Sex Harassment• Recent rulings make it illegal
Harassment Includes…• Verbal abuse, epithets, vulgar or derogatory language, display of offensive cartoons or materials, mimicry, lewd or offensive gestures and telling of jokes offensive to protected class members.• More than one incident or comment unless it is severe. (Title VII)• Interferes with work or creates an offensive and hostile work environment.
Unwelcome Conduct• When one does not solicit or entice it, and when the employee regards the conduct as undesirable or offensive.• Since sexual attraction is a normal factor in employee interactions, the distinction between advances that are invited, uninvited but welcome, offensive-but-tolerated and flatly rejected may be difficult to discern.• This distinction is important because conduct is unlawful when it is unwelcome.
Unwelcome Conduct/ Eye of the Beholder• What might be acceptable to one worker might be offensive and unwelcome to another.• The U.S. Supreme Court uses the “Reasonable person” standard in determining if conduct is harassing.
Form 1: Quid Pro Quo (This for That)• When employment decisions or expectations (hiring, promotions, salary increases, shift or work assignments, performance standards) are based on an employee’s willingness to grant or deny sexual favors.
Quid Pro Quo Examples• Demanding sexual favors for a promotion or raise.• Unwelcome sexual advances.• Disciplining or firing a subordinate who ends a romance.• Changing work standards after a subordinate refuses repeated requests for a date.
Form 2 – Hostile Environment• Hostile when unwelcome verbal, non-verbal or physical behavior focusing on sexuality is severe and pervasive enough to interfere with the victim’s work performance or be intimidating or offensive to a reasonable person.
Reasonable Person Standard• …when conduct is such that a reasonable person under the same circumstances as the employee would consider the conduct sufficiently severe or pervasive to interfere substantially with the persons work performance or to create an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
Hostile Environment Examples• Verbal – Sexual jokes or insults – Comments about a person’s body or sex life – Sexual demeaning comments – Catcalls, whistles, and forms of address: “honey”• Non-Verbal – Gestures and staring – Display of sexually suggestive or degrading materials including e-mail or screen savers – Giving sexually suggestive gifts
Hostile Environment Examples (continued)• Physical – Touching, hugging , kissing or smacking lips – Standing too close, including brushing against a person’s body – Blocking a person’s movement – Pinching, grabbing or patting
Important Facts - Harassment• Non-sexual, abusive, hostile or rude treatment of one gender may still constitute harassment, despite absence of overt sexual advances.• Offenders can be supervisors, co-workers or non-employees.• The victim does not have to be directly involved. A third person can be offended by harassing behavior among willing participants.
Important Facts – Harassment (continued)• Unless severe, a single incident or a few isolated incidents of offensive behavior will not likely rise to the level of harassment.• Harassment does not have to be reported or complained about by the victim to be defined as harassment.
When In Doubt…• Would you say or do it in front of your spouse, parent or close friend?• How would you feel if your spouse, daughter, sister, mother or close friends were subjected to the same words or behavior?• Would you say or do it to a colleague who is the same sex as you?
Consequences• Lost Work Time – Harassment is disruptive of production – Can seriously affect morale – Increase absenteeism and turnover• Reputation – Harasser and employer may be liable
Consequences (continued)• Damages – Harasser and employer may be personally liable – Back pay, attorney fees and cost may be substantial – Compensatory and punitive damages under federal law may dramatically increase dollar damages – Other laws, such as state sexual assault statutes may result in criminal charges
Fear of Retaliation?• (S.111.322 (2M), Wis. Stats.)• Prohibits retaliation of any kind against any employee bringing a complaint or assisting in the investigation of a complaint. Such employees may not be adversely affected in any manner related to their employment.
Examples of Retaliation• Giving an undeserved poor evaluation• Assigning to unfavorable tasks• Avoidance• Drawing unnecessary attention• Trying to figure out who told• Spreading rumors
Steps for Harassment Victims• Say No – “Inappropriate” versus “harassment” – Be clear and assertive – Let them know right away
Respect• Remember it’s not all about what’s unlawful but what is respectful