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Recognizing and Combating Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

 
Your employees’ safety in the workplace is vital to the health and integrity of your team. Sadly, sexual harassment happens more than you think in the workplace setting, but you don’t have to face this issue alone, thanks to your EAP assistance. How can you prevent this from happening to your employees? Being aware of the signs and expressing clear boundaries and protocols for your employees and management team is a good start. In this article, we will talk about how to recognize sexual harassment and what to do if it happens at work. We’ll also highlight the benefits of having EAP assistance. We want to give you tools to help prevent this kind of thing at work so your employees are protected and safe.
 

81 percent of people believe that sexual harassment goes on in most American workplaces today.

 

Statistics of work sexual harassment

 

  • 81 percent of people believe that sexual harassment goes on in most American workplaces today. (i-sight.com)
  • 90 percent of people believe it’s not a problem in their own offices. (i-sight.com)
  • 87-94 percent of individuals who are harassed do not file a complaint. (i-sight.com)
  • The Stop Street Harassment Survey shares that 81 percent of women and 43 percent of men had experienced some form of sexual harassment during their lifetime. (npr.org)
  • 38 percent of women said they experienced sexual harassment at their workplaces. (npr.org)

 

These statistics reveal the sad reality that sexual harassment is very common inside the workplace, and we need to be better at preventing it. The first step is to inform your team of this harsh reality, and then start taking steps toward prevention.

 

How to recognize it in your workplace

 
So, how do you recognize it as an employer? Sexual harassment is:
 

  • When submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment
  • When unwelcome sexual conduct is so severe and persistent that it significantly impedes an employee’s work performance, or creates an environment that is hostile, intimidating, or offensive.

 

 
These two examples are known as “Quid Pro Quo” and “Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment”.
 
For your employees, they must:
 

  • Understand the definitions of harassment and a hostile environment
  • Understand the behaviors that will not be tolerated
  • Understand the organization’s policy regarding harassment and a hostile work environment
  • Report disrespectful behavior
  • Understand and be committed to the fact that a respectful workplace is a more productive and rewarding workplace

 
For your managers, they must:
 

  • Consistently display personal integrity and professionalism
  • Exhibit fairness and empathy
  • Embrace diversity and inclusion
  • Set the standard for personal accountability
  • Coach and mentor regarding respectful behavior
  • Enforce a zero tolerance policy

 

What to do if it happens

 
If you as an employee observe a form of sexual harassment, immediately report it to your manager and/or Human Resources. They will do the investigation from there. Every company has their own policies on sexual harassment, and it is very important that the procedures within those policies are followed exactly.

 

Utilizing EAP Assistance

 
This topic is complex, but is extremely important to your employees’ protection and safety. As an employer, you may not have all the skills and time to go through this process alone. That is why having EAP assistance can help you along the way. Our EAP gives you and your employees access to sexual harassment trainings to aid in prevention, as well as counseling referrals for victims. We also have a number of self-help worklife and wellness resources on our wellness website. Care Plus Solutions has been a leader in sexual harassment training and consultation since 1995. We are always there when you need us, so that your team is always at their best. Find out more about our services here!

 

 

Care Plus Solutions is America’s first EAP and is headquartered in New York and has offices in New Jersey. Over the course of the company’s 46 year history, their brand has remained firmly rooted in the rich history of the EAP field, never losing sight of the fundamental purpose of the EAP; delivering personal and quality services to those in need. It is fair to say that Care Plus Solutions is the gold standard in the field of Employee Assistance.

 

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