Human Resource Management – Preventing Harassment
Human rights legislation prohibits harassment related to any of the protected grounds in their jurisdiction, for example, race, color, religion, sex etc. All forms of harassments are prohibited. Harassment is “any behavior that demeans, humiliates, or embarrasses a person, and that a reasonable person should have known would be unwelcome.”
Sexual harassment refers to unwelcome behavior that is of a sexual nature or is related to a person's sex. Examples are:
- Questions or discussion about a person's sexual life.
- Comments about someone's sexual attractiveness.
- Continuing to ask for a date after being refused.
- Writing sexually suggestive notes.
- Telling a woman she should not be performing a particular job.
In general, the most obvious examples of sexual harassment involves that a person makes a benefit (or punishment) contingent on an employee’s submitting to (or rejecting) sexual advances. A more subtle and possible more persuasive form of sexual harassment is to create or permit a hostile work environment. This occurs when someone’s behavior in the workplace creates an environment in which it is difficult for someone of a particular sex to work.
To ensure a workplace free from harassment, organizations can follow some important steps. Federally regulated employees are required to develop an anti – harassment policy making it very clear that harassment will not be tolerated in the workplace. Second, all employees need to be made aware of the policy and receive training related to anti – harassment. In addition, the organization can develop a mechanism for reporting harassment in a way that encourages people to speak out. Finally, management can prepare to act promptly to discipline those who engage in harassment, as well as to protect the victims of harassment.
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