For months, it seems like you can’t open a newspaper or watch a news program without hearing about harassment, #MeToo, and #TimesUp. However, harassment and discrimination of all kinds has been around for decades, if not centuries. Missing is what those tasked with picking up the proverbial pieces want to really tell you and their bosses.
All employees, and in particular anyone in power (male or female) needs to seriously consider the following:
- Don’t touch. Unless someone needs first aid, there’s never a need to touch a co-worker outside of a formal handshake. Pats on the back should be figurative and not literal.
- Stop cussing. However pervasive profanity may have become in society, it is never acceptable at work – not even on a construction site, commercial kitchen, or warehouse setting. If you can’t think of another word to use instead of the vulgar one spewing from your mouth, don’t say anything.
- It’s not a joke. Telling a slightly off-color joke may sound like a good idea but it’s not. If you wouldn’t repeat the joke in front of a minister, your grandmother, or a 6-year-old child don’t tell it at work.
- Keep your opinions to yourself. Everyone has prejudices that can influence the way we treat others. Just because we believe something is right for everyone doesn’t mean it is. Allowing your opinions to influence how you treat others is a trap that can have catastrophic consequences.
- It’s not welcome. Technically, advances have to be unwelcome to be considered harassment. If you are a person soliciting a subordinate for “favors” it’s not welcome. It doesn’t matter how good looking and “all that” you think you are, putting an employee in the position of telling you “no” is never welcome.
This is a call to establish genteel and civil work environments where people can focus on their jobs without fear of harassment or discrimination. Instead of a reaction from HR, let’s see pro-active initiatives from the top of the organization. If those with the most power don’t support efforts to maintain a workplace free from harassment and discrimination, the organization will continue to be mired down by claims of mistreatment.
EAF provides free training kits and online training to EAF members on the topics of Sexual Harassment and Discrimination & Harassment.
We also provide onsite training programs on C.A.R.E. (Creating A Respectful Environment) and P.U.S.H. (Prevent and Understand Sexual Harassment) at preferred pricing for EAF members. CLICK HERE for more information.
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