Preventing Sexual Harassment


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Preventing Sexual Harassment

  1. 1. SECTION 1 What is sexual harassment?
  2. 2. • A form of sex discrimination that violates federal law • Unwelcome sexual advances • Requests for sexual favors • Other verbal or physical behavior • Affects an individual’s job • Hurts an individual’s work performance • Creates a hostile or threatening work environment • Punishing an employee for complaining about sexual harassment is illegal
  3. 3. • Supervisors • Other Employees • Customers, clients and vendors • 3rd party sexual harassment • Same sex sexual harassment
  4. 4. • I was just joking • Intent is not important, effects are
  5. 5. • Normal place of work • Temporary work site • Work gatherings • Traveling • Conferences, training classes
  6. 6. • “This for that” • Pressure to consent to sexual activity from a person with power in exchange for: • A job-related reward • A job-related threat • This behavior is strictly prohibited
  7. 7. Meet Devin. Devin is an administrative coordinator for an agency that assists private businesses. He's been working on a project with Camille, who works for the Chamber of Commerce. Devin's been very busy and has missed a deadline for sending some information to Camille.
  8. 8. When Devin calls Camille to explain about the missed deadline, Camille tells him she'll complain to his boss and get him in trouble unless he takes her out for a dinner date. Could Camille s Conduct be sexual harassment? Yes - This is called quid pro quid sexual harassment
  9. 9. Devin's boss, Celia, discovered Devin missed a deadline and criticized him about it in front of others. Celia often criticizes her employees in public when things go wrong. Could Celia's actions be considered sexual harassment? No - Celia's comments may be unprofessional, but they are not sexually harassing
  10. 10. • Behavior of a sexual nature creates an offensive or hostile work environment • Interferes with an employee's work • Affects an employee's work performance • Makes an employee feel intimidated, degraded or abused
  11. 11. • Behavior of a sexual nature creates an offensive or hostile work environment • Not considered sexual harassment: • Supervisor reprimands for poor work performance or behavior • Normal workplace friction
  12. 12. • Unwelcome physical contact • Unwelcome physical gestures • Displaying or distributing offensive pictures or objects
  13. 13. Meet Susan. Susan is a program manager who often works on group projects with her colleague, Mark.
  14. 14. Mark often looks over Susan's shoulder to see what she's working on. Although Susan always offers to email her work to him or print it out, Mark says it will only take a minute, then leans over her. Susan feels uncomfortable when Mark does this as he invades her personal space and often touches her on her back, shoulders or arm. Could Mark’s behavior be considered sexual harassment? Yes – his behavior is unwanted physical contact
  15. 15. This is Rhonda and Joni. Rhonda and Joni have worked together for several years at the same agency.
  16. 16. Rhonda and Joni often disagree about the best way to get work done. After (sometimes heated) discussion, they are usually able to reach a compromise. Could Rhonda and Joni be creating a hostile work environment with their arguments? No - While Rhonda and Joni obviously have some friction on the job, their discussions do not constitute sexual harassment.
  17. 17. Theresa is a nurse in one of the state's hospitals. Lately, she's been having some problems with a coworker.
  18. 18. Theresa's colleague Judy has been putting up pictures of partially-clothed or nude men on the break room bulletin board. Every time she sees one, Theresa takes it down and throws it away, but it seems there's a new one up each time she enters the room. Theresa has asked Judy not to post these pictures because she finds them inappropriate. Judy just laughs and tells Theresa not to be such a prude and that many of the other nurses enjoy looking at the pictures. Could Judy’s actions be sexually harassing? Yes – Posting these pictures could be sexual harassment
  19. 19. Dan and Nikki are colleagues at an agency. They both attended a conference in another city.
  20. 20. As Dan and Nikki were checking into the hotel, Dan told Nikki she looked "hot" and began to rub her back. He moved closer and offered her a massage if she joined him in his room. Nikki was upset by Dan's behavior and refused to sit with him during the conference. Could Dan's behavior be considered sexual harassment? Yes - Dan's conduct included unwanted physical and verbal contact.
  21. 21. • Unwelcome verbal comments • Sexually explicit comments, stories and jokes • Repeated and unwelcome requests for dates • Derogatory or degrading personal comments • Offensive and/or sexually explicit language
  22. 22. Meet Tyrell. Tyrell works as a physical therapist in a state hospital. He has a very busy schedule and usually only has time for a quick lunch in the staff's break room.
  23. 23. Unfortunately, Tyrell avoids the break room. It isn't the pictures that bother him, it's the radio disc jockey that most of the others like to listen to. This disc jockey has extremely graphic sexual conversations with the women who call in to the show. Tyrell finds these conversations offensive. He once asked his colleagues to change the station, but they told him it was a free country, and they could listen to what they wanted to. Could Tyrell also be a victim of sexual harassment? Yes – if Tyrell is forced to listen to obscene language that humiliates him, this could be a hostile work environment.
  24. 24. This is Wade, a foreman. Wade and his crew travel to different state buildings to complete renovation projects. They just started a new project last week.
  25. 25. Wade's coworkers on site have noticed that the building receptionist has been very friendly to Wade. They have been teasing him about the receptionist, including making remarks of a sexual nature. Although the comments embarrass and upset Wade, and he's asked his coworkers to stop they haven't. Could Wade's coworkers be sexually harassing Wade? Yes - Their comments are inappropriate, and could be considered sexual harassment
  26. 26. Assuming Wade’s colleagues are men, is their behavior an example of same sex sexual harassment? Yes.
  27. 27. • Derogatory comments, slurs, and jokes based on gender stereotypes • Avoid standards of "masculinity" or "femininity" in the workplace
  28. 28. Meet Alice. Alice is a heavy equipment operator. She enjoys her job, including the physical work.
  29. 29. Some of Alice's coworkers tease her that she is not a "real woman" because she likes physical labor and works in a field that mostly men work in. Sometimes, her coworkers don't let her perform some of the work tasks, telling her that she's not strong enough to do it, or that the work is "men's work." Have Alice's coworkers behaved in a way that could be sexually harassing? Yes - these actions could be considered sexual harassment
  30. 30. • Affected by harassing behavior, even if the behavior or harassment was meant for someone else • Avoid 3rd party harassment: • Do not display sexually suggestive pictures • Do not post sexually suggestive jokes • Avoid suggestive comments • If in doubt, don’t do it!
  31. 31. Shelly, Wendy, and Lucy work together in a state office building with an open floor plan.
  32. 32. Shelly and Wendy discuss every man in the agency, commenting on their physical appearance and speculating about their sexuality. Although they pretend to keep their comments to themselves, they are often loud and overheard by Lucy, who finds their conversations offensive. Lucy has asked the pair several times to not hold these types of discussions in the office. Shelly and Wendy just laugh, however, and tell Lucy to mind her own business. Could Wendy and Shelly's conversations be considered sexual harassment? Yes - because Shelly and Wendy continue to hold these conversations where others who may be offended by them can hear.
  33. 33. This example also describes what could be considered same- sex sexual harassment.
  34. 34. • Retaliation is a type of punishment for complaining about sexual harassment • Retaliation is illegal under federal law and prohibited by most agency policies
  35. 35. Meet Brian, a budget analyst. One day, Brian's supervisor called Brian into her office, and told him that if he wanted a raise this year, he should pan to spend the night with her. Brian refused, and filed a complaint with his agency's HR office.
  36. 36. One week after Brian filed a sexual harassment complaint, Brian's boss told him he was going to be demoted. She said the papers would say he was insubordinate, but that Brian knew the real reason he was being demoted. Could Brian be experiencing retaliation? Yes - it appears Brian's supervisor may be punishing him for his complaint of sexual harassment.
  37. 37. This is Jason. Jason is part of a grounds crew that maintains one of the state parks.
  38. 38. Jason complained to his supervisor and to the HR department about two employees who often made offensive sexual comments to hm. Since that time the other employees on his work team refuse to work with him. They hide his tools and "lose" his supplies so that he has been slower completing tasks. Jason is worried that these incidents will cause him to get an Unsuccessful on his PES and is thinking about trying to find another job. Could Jason be experiencing retaliation? Yes - it is possible that Jason's colleagues are retaliating against him.
  39. 39. SECTION 2 What can I do about sexual harassment?
  40. 40. • What do I do if I am a victim of sexual harassment? • What do I do if I am a witness of sexual harassment?
  41. 41. • Know your agency policy • Agency policies may be found: • On the agency internet/intranet site • Through your agency's HR Office • Through your supervisor
  42. 42. • Know your agency policy • Tell the harasser to stop the behavior • Report the harassment to your supervisor and/or HR Office • Cooperate fully with the investigation • Who? • What? • When? • How Often • Witnesses • Report any retaliation
  43. 43. • Will be maintained to the extent possible • Supervisors and chain of command personnel may need to know • DO NOT discuss a sexual harassment complaint or investigation with those in the workplace who do not need to know
  44. 44. SECTION 3 What should supervisors do about sexual harassment?
  45. 45. • Preventing sexual harassment • Handling sexual harassment complaints
  46. 46. • Know the agency’s sexual harassment policy • Educate employees about the policy and sexual harassment • Distribute policy • Post policy • Meetings and training • Be aware of what is going on in the workplace
  47. 47. • Know your agency’s sexual harassment policy • Take it seriously • Act – listen, document, and report
  48. 48. • Strictly illegal • Complainants can win retaliation lawsuits even if they lose a harassment lawsuit • Retaliation may include: • Dismissal • Demotion • Transfer • Ostracism • Poor performance evaluations • Hostility • Work with the HR Office for disciplinary cases