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Sexual Harassment Prevention

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Jeff Harmon

on 18 June 2018

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Transcript of Sexual Harassment Prevention

Preventing Sexual Harassment
What is Sexual Harassment?

Unwelcome sexual advances

Requests for sexual favors

Other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that affects an individuals' employment, unreasonably interferes with his/her work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
Who can be involved in Sexual Harassment?
Sexual Harassment can occur amongst employees at all levels, and in some cases the harasser may be a client or customer. Primarily, involvement is between a harasser and an intended victim. However, situations may arise where witnesses are also affected.

While the majority of reported cases of sexual harassment involve a male harassing a female, such cases can also involve a female harassing a male or either men or women harassing members of their own sex.
Intent vs. Impact
People say things or engage in conduct without intending to cause harm or offense to others. Common explanations are: "It was just a joke", "I didn't think anyone could hear me", "I didn't mean it that way". However, the person's intent is irrelevant in defining harassment. It is the impact on the recipient that determines whether or not the behavior is harassing or unwelcome.

In determining whether harassment is severe or pervasive enough to create a hostile environment, the harasser’s conduct should be evaluated from the standpoint of a “reasonable person.” The "reasonable person" standard is used by both the EEOC and courts and aims to avoid the potential for parties to claim they suffered harassment when most people would not find such instances offensive if they themselves were the subject of such acts.

The "Reasonable Person" standard - Under similar circumstances, would a reasonable person perceive the actions as offensive, harassment, or a hostile work environment?
NWMLS Policy & Procedure
NWMLS strives to maintain a work environment that fosters mutual employee respect and promotes harmonious, productive working relationships. NWMLS believes that harassment and retaliation undermine the integrity of the employment relationship. Therefore, NWMLS prohibits all forms of harassment and retaliation by any employee towards any other employee (including supervisors), clients, members, vendors, and visitors to the workplace. All employees are expected to be sensitive to, and respectful of their co-workers and others with whom they come into contact while representing NWMLS. NWMLS also prohibits harassment and retaliation towards any employee by any third party (including clients, members, vendors, and visitors to the work place).

Please see the NWMLS Employee Handbook for a full description of our policy and our procedures on how to report harassment or discrimination.
Q & A
& other forms of harassment
The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines Sexual Harassment as...
unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when any one of three criteria is met:

Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment.
Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual.
Such behavior has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.

Sexual harassment can be in the form of verbal behavior such as unwanted sexual comments, suggestions, jokes or requests for sexual favors; or it can be in the form of any non-verbal behavior which may include gestures, leering, pictures or cartoons; or it can be in the form of physical behavior such as assault, molestation, touching or repeated brushing against a person's body.
Sexual harassment is specifically harassment of a sexual nature and includes:
How common is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment is common in all occupations and professions, educational backgrounds, age, racial and ethnic groups, and income levels.

Interesting Statistics:
Even though there is increased awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace, and the number of complaints continues to decline, sexual harassment is still a prevalent issue. In 2017 the EEOC and Fair Employment Practice agencies in the U.S. received 9,614 complaints involving sexual harassment.
(Note: The latest data posted by the EEOC is from 2011)
Two types of Sexual Harassment
The law describes two different forms of sexual harassment...Quid Pro Quo and Hostile Work Environment.

Quid pro quo is Latin meaning "this for that". In an employment setting, Quid pro quo takes place when an employee is asked by a person in a position of power to provide sexual favors in exchange for something else, such as a promotion, pay increase, favorable working conditions, etc.

A person does not have to prove that they suffered an economic loss (e.g., been denied a promotion or a raise) to prove quid pro quo sexual harassment. It's enough to show a threat was made or reasonably implied. In addition, according to federal guidelines regarding sexual harassment, a single sexual advance may constitute harassment if it is linked to the granting or denial of employment benefits. The harassment does not have to occur more than once to prove quid pro quo sexual harassment.

1. Quid Pro Quo
Example: Geoff receives a smaller pay increase based on performance than other employees with similar performance because he refused to go out with Nicole, his supervisor.
A hostile work environment is one in which unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature creates an uncomfortable work environment for an employee. It is created by ongoing behavior of a sexual nature that is offensive to the victim or that interferes with the victim's ability to perform his or her work duties.

One severe incident may be enough to create a hostile work environment (such as grabbing someone, touching someone's sexual parts, threatening someone), but in general, it must be shown to be an ongoing pattern of behavior.
2. Hostile Work Environment
Example 1: Jessica has a tendency of leaning in close to Rachel and brushing her hand against Rachel's thighs when they are working together at the front desk. Rachel has asked Jessica to stop several times, but Jessica continues the disturbing behavior.

derogatory comments of a sexual nature or based on gender
comments about clothing, personal behavior, or a person's body
sexual or gender-based jokes or teasing
requests for sexual favors
repeated requests for dates
terms of endearment, such as "honey," "dear," "sweetheart," "babe"
references to an adult as "girl" or "boy," "doll" or "hunk"
sexual innuendo or stories
grunts, wolf whistles, catcalls, hoots, sucking noises, lip-smacks and animal noises
tales of one's partner's sexual inadequacies or prowess
tales of sexual exploitation
graphic descriptions of pornography
obscene phone calls or emails
transmission of emails, text messages, tweets, blogs or social networking of a sexually graphic, threatening or vulgar nature when related to or accessible by associates
lies or rumors about a person's personal or sex life
puns such as turning work discussions into sexual topics
EXAMPLES of Sexual Harassment

looking up and down (elevator eyes)
making derogatory gestures of a sexual nature
giving sexually suggestive looks
making facial expressions of a sexual nature; winking, licking lips

leaning over, invading a person's space
inappropriately touching a person or person's clothing
"accidentally" brushing sexual parts of the body
indecent exposure, mooning or flashing
blocking someone's path with the purpose of making a sexual advance
uninvited neck massaging
deliberately touching sexually, or brushing up against, or pinching
pressing or rubbing up against a person
kissing, hugging, patting, stroking
actual or attempted sexual assault

posters, cartoons, drawings, calendars, pinups and pictures of a sexual nature
electronic bulletin boards/computer graphics of a sexual nature
inappropriate, sexually expressive or revealing clothing
knick-knacks and other objects of a sexual nature
Verbal -

Non-verbal -
Physical -
Visual -
The most important part of our corporate values is to ensure all employees are treated with respect and dignity. Engaging in, condoning, or not reporting sexual harassment are in direct conflict with our values.
Your Responsibilities
Make yourself aware of and adhere to NWMLS policy and procedure
Let a person know they are doing something that makes you uncomfortable. Although confronting someone is not required, it is your first option in an effort to quickly stop the behavior.
Report incidents that you experience directly or witness
Cooperate with investigations

The impact on companies

Increased employee turnover
Increased absenteeism
Low morale and productivity
Increased risk of lawsuits
Negative impact on company reputation which affects the ability to attract new clients/customers, retaining good employees and hiring qualified candidates
Possible increase in other forms of discrimination
Increase in stress-related Worker's Compensation claims
The impact on employees
Employees who continue to be exposed to workplace harassment may experience a range of psychological and physical injuries or illnesses, including:

High levels of distress
Impaired ability to make decisions and poor concentration
Loss of self-confidence and self-esteem
Feelings of social isolation and objectification at work
Panic attacks, anxiety disorders, depression, social phobia
Deteriorating relationships with family and friends
Reduced output and performance, incapacity to work, loss of employment
Sleep disturbances, such as insomnia or severe tiredness
It's Question and Answer time! ...meaning we get to ask you questions and you get to provide answers. Please click the footprints below to be taken to a quiz that will aid in helping you further understand and remember what you just learned in the training. In addition, If you answer a question incorrectly, feel free to click "Back" and answer the question again. The point of the quiz is to assist in the learning process, not to score you.

Once you have completed the quiz, the results will be forwarded to Human Resources and added to your employee file to document your completion of the training. Thank you.
Example 2: Jennifer and Giyen have offices that are next to each other. Giyen is frequently on the phone and has a tendency to have graphic conversations where she brags about her active sex life. Jennifer is able to hear all the details through the wall, but doesn’t feel comfortable saying anything to Giyen. Because the conversations make Jennifer uncomfortable, she finds reasons to leave her office when Giyen is on the phone.
Year: 2000 2005 2010 2015 2017
Complaints: 15,592 12,688 11,852 10,019 9,614
Other forms of Harassment
At the end of this presentation, you will be able to:

identify behavior that might be considered harassment,
explain why it is important to prevent sexual harassment and other forms of harassment in our workplace.
describe your role and responsibility in creating a workplace free of harassment,
state what actions to take against harassment, and
describe company policies and procedures related to harassment and know where to locate policy and procedure on the subject.

There are other types of harassment employees should be aware of given the broad spectrum of what the law covers. In employment, harassment is defined as conduct or actions, based on a person's race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, age, disability, sexual orientation (including gender identity), genetic information, military membership or veteran status, that is severe or pervasive enough to create a hostile, abusive or intimidating work environment for a reasonable person. It is a form of discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the ADA, the ADEA, or GINA.

A term that is frequently used to describe harassment is "workplace bullying".
Workplace bullying is repeated mistreatment of one or more employees using humiliation, intimidation and denigration of performance. Bullying behavior can exist at any level of an organization. Bullies can be superiors, subordinates, co-workers and colleagues.

Social bantering or teasing.
Verbal abuse and profanity, humiliation, constant criticism.
Stealing the credit for work performed by the victim.
Personal and professional denigration.
Overt threats.
Assignment of unrealistic workloads.
Aggressive e-mails or notes.
Professional exclusion or isolation.
Sabotage of career and financial status.

Examples of workplace bullying include:
Identifying Sexual Harassment:

Full transcript