Give us feedbackX

Harassment in the Workplace: Critical Analysis

People can see harassment in many different ways, and it can become a very messy situation for businesses. Harassment is any inappropriate comment or unwelcomed act made on someone’s race, religion, national origin, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation. Many harassment cases are misunderstandings bystanders, but it can still warrant an investigation to see if the harassment in genuine. When working in a company for a long period of time relationships are built between colleagues and some form of joking and horse play can be seen to someone new as harassment but not to the people doing the harassment. Harassment is normally stereotyped as men making jokes or sexual comments to woman in the workplace or by leaders for sexual favors to help the other persons advancement within the organization. Both males and females can be the responsible for harassment in the workplace (Hardie). Harassment has become a hot topic again since many of the high-profile cases from President Trump, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and now the one people are talking about is the Harvey Weinstein. The goal is for business to know when harassment occurs and to address it in a private and professional manner to not disrupt the company environment. Companies had to encourage their leaders to have an open-door policy were employees can freely come and talk to their management if concerns arise it could be a way to de-escalate an incident of harassment before it starts.

Company Risks

Overview

Companies have to be able to see it happening and stop it before it gets out of hand to the point it of legal suite and negative reputation. If the companies are not handling the situation of harassment properly when it is brought to their attention can result in financial risks, to the point where they could not address it quietly before the news caught wind of it (Biging). When an allegation of harassment has been brought up against a member of the company it can impact the morale of employees if the situation is not handled in the correct manner.

Read also: “Hire the most professional law essay writers

Key Issues

In the past companies used to sweep the any harassment issue away by settling with the person involved without it hurting the company financially. Today it’s a whole different element we organizations like MeToo who are advocates for people how do not want to speak up for themselves. If the harassment gets to that level it will impact stocks and the legal settlement that could risk the company financially (Biging). An example of harassment that cost the company substantially was Guess when a model accused the cofounder of sexual harassment and the company lost 18 percent in stock with was close to $250 million. As harassment can cause employees to lose faith with the company management and the good employees will decide to leave and find work were there is no hostile work environment (Henning).

Strategic Plans

Human resources departments within companies have strict policies in place to help prevent and also to educate their staff what is harassment so they can make sure its not happening in their company but it can still happen because we get to comfortable. If the harasser is the leader and the victim does not like the behavior normally the harasser will treat the victim poorly but the Equality Act 2010 is a federal law that protects employees in the workplace (Gilmore). Many companies had a committee that is made up of administrators that will investigate the harassment and then determine the severity want what action had to be taken. If the harassment is not handled internally by the administration or if it the top leader during the harassment the victim can file a complaint with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission who enforce many laws about workplace discrimination (Robotham).

Zero Tolerances

Overview

Some companies had zero tolerance policies for all type of issue that occur in the workplace. It means that if a policy is broken by an individual, they are dismissed from the position. Having those policies help to protect the victims with the healing process because it can cause health concerns for the victim. When the company is looking at ways to prevent harassment in the workplace, they have to get some ideas from the court system where they have trainings on the topic of harassment to inform the staff on ways to combat it (Smith).

Key Issues

When a company creates a policy is the administration that need to be able to interpret the rules and be able to implement the plans. Company sometimes look to more into the negative impact on the bottom line and if they are going to lose money, they want to just handle the situation quick as possible. There are also some companies that set policies because they see it need to be done but they when someone breaks the rules, they just sweep it under the table and try to forget about it.

Strategic Plan

One factor in the building a hostile free workplace is by creating a culture that is warm and open to conversation. Have a reporting system were victims can report anything to a company leader without fear of embarrassment (Smith). Yearly training could also help employees to understand way is considered harassment because it could be all types of issues. As an educator in an organization, we train our staff annually on different topics relating to the field we work in. The most important topic we cover is Human Rights and Harassment because we work with very vulnerable people and they can be taken advantage of because of their disabilities. Accountability is key for everything to work when it comes to harassment and to investigate every little complaint.

Revenge by Leaders and Victims

Overview

Workplace harassment can cause revenge but both parties which can cause a hostile work environment for other employees. This can affect moral and lower the productivity within the organization. Revenge by the leader could were they retaliate against the victim and also the employees that reported the harassment to the administration because they were involved with the leader getting in trouble. And revenge be the victim could look be not listening to the leader or lowering the work performance.

Key Issues

The main issue is that both side think that they should in some way harmer the other person (Wang). Negative revenge can be seen as a form of harassment and cause the cycle to continue. The victim could start bullying the harasser because they want to cause pain. Many times, the victim can become the accuser because their behavior of how other people act cause them to change their ways on how they treat others.

Strategic Plan

Since revenge is a form of anger for the victim and accuser, they have to know the consequence of what would happen if they are caught retaliation against either party. When someone is claiming someone else harassed them the administrator leading the investigation had to keep everything confidential. The accuser should never know who the victim is or the bystander who made the claim. If it leaked out that one of the parties know anything about the investigation more disciplinary action is necessary by the company leaders. Both parties have to be more forgiving and look at the situation as a learning experience but the accuser may not have thought they were doing something wrong.

Technology Role in Workplace Harassment

Overview

Harassment between employees has risen to a new level with social media and how technology is used in our everyday lives. Comments can be made online between a group of colleagues which can get circulated to other friends and eventually to the person the comment was about. Its also a way for the harasser to not have a physical interaction with the victim because they could feel it not going to be seen. Harassment on the social network can escalate the situation because its not just affecting their work but also their private life because everyone can see what is posted and even if the person deletes the post it still can be found (Tenorio). People have to be aware of the damages posting something harassing on social media because it could be hurtful.

Key Issues

Companies are looking at what happens at the workplace and if cyber harassment is going on it is less likely for them to investigate (Tenorio). It can still be the employer’s responsibility if the harasser is using a work computer to do the harassing. Even if the harassment is face-to-face or on the social network, they have the same financial and social consequences and cause a bad reputation for the company and its stakeholders. Peers also believe that the persons behavior is an acceptable social norm that both men and women are going to be harassed in some form (Hardies). Its not just Facebook and Instagram companies are using Skype and WhatsApp to communicate with their clients around the work that they have to make sure when on conference to think before they speak because if they behave rudely to an employee can turn into a harassing behavior from others.

Strategic Plan

Technology is evolving every day and has become a key factor in every one’s daily life that we have to work on combatting harassment on social media. As companies are training their employees about harassment in the workplace on a physical level, they have to incorporate social media into that mix. Since harassment law suites have be going to court many are starting to hold the employers liable for any harassing remarks their employees make on social media (Tenorio). Our jobs do not stop at 5 o’clock since the day companies have issued laptops to employees and the use of social media to better the company’s productivity. Companies IT can create systems that can help to combat social media harassment outside of the workplace. They can track all the activity and report it to the correct administrator for investigation.

Union vs. Non-Union Jobs

Overview

Unions started during the great depression so that workers can had someone to speak for them to the company’s CEOs. They work for the employees to get work is right for them to be happy performing the job duties assigned to them. Grocery store have Labor Unions so we are treated fairly because the corporate chains want to be able to just pay them the minimum wage but want the employees to work hard and longer hours. Unions help to secure higher wage and benefits to feel the employees are worth their time. When it comes to harassment union take a different stance on how they are going to handle the situation.

Key Issues

Many unions are male-dominated and they normally side with the male in any form of harassment we cause a bad reputation for the unions. In unions, women are not see as equals with their male co-workers and it was not helping with the MeToo movement, that unions are facing internal scandals of harassment (Avendano). As the economy grows, unions have to do the same to better support their member no matter the gender that could strengthen their role in the workplace. People believe that you are given a free ride if a union member but that is not the case members have to pay dues through the collective bargaining, they do because of a court ruling (Avendano).

Strategic Plan

Unions have to work toward recognizing women as a equal part of the membership group and if something is brought to their attention it should be address with our discrimination. If they would look at the harassment on the woman’s point of view, they would be able to secure more female members and increase their growth. Union should look at other countries unions to see what they do differently so it can be implemented to improve the membership. Unions negotiate clause to protect their members but they do not have any in regards to harassment since they believe it would fall into antidiscrimination (Avendano). In other countries have clauses in the collective bargaining that state harassment so they can be trainings for the members to protect everyone’s rights. The growth of the unions would sore to all time highs if they were able to put aside their differences with male and women not being equal to giving them all the same rights.

Workplace Awareness and Training

Overview

Colleagues have to be able to see that someone is happening in their environment to check to make sure that harassment does not happen in the workplace. The victim of workplace harassment can have mental health issues that could cause them to become depressed, no sleep or even anxiety when around people in the workplace (Gale). Other pattern can occur as way from poor work performance, morale, and missing work. Bystanders of harassment can help their peers in reporting the behavior to management so that it can be handled in a quick and professional manner. Workplace Training is a great way for companies to develop a culture on how they would address issues of harassment to protect everyone involved.

Key Issues

Sometime victims can ignore that they are being harassed in the workplace which could hurt them mental and physically. Nurse can be harassed by their patients but they just push forward with their work and provide care for their patients (Lockhart). Male are more to harass their co-workers if they want to try and discredit others so they can advance in the workplace. Women are gaining more board seat than males and it causing them to worry (Bloxham). We have to work together no matter the gender to help them succeed and profit. Competition is always good but in a healthy manner and not using a behavior that can hurt or ruin the reputation of the victim.

Strategic Plan

Peers and bystanders can help when it comes to harassment because most of the time its their word against the other party. It could be hard for the investigating party to determine if the harassment is genuine. Bystanders can swing a situation in a good way for the victim because you are there to help protect time by coming forward to be a witness (Rowe). We have to build a positive climate between all levels in our organization to help fix the issue of harassment in the workplace. The Department of Defense (DoD) has been working to combat negative behavior between the ranks, the military is here to protect use from harm by if they can not protect their soldiers from harassment we will not survive. It comes back to the peers stepping in when they see something is wrongs. In the military peers have help to reduce harassment by just intervening when they see a situation is getting out of hand (Klein). Back in the day the fire service was a big male fraternity “brotherhood” but now females have been integrated into the services as firefighters and paramedics. With them living together in the fire house they have to reduce the occurrence of harassment because it could cost people’s lives (Hom). Leaders have to be more aware of what is happening in their organization to prevent harassment from happening.

As we are seeing more high-profile harassment case in the news. Everyone has heard something about the Harvey Weinstein case, and how that companies’ reputation went from good to very bad. Companies are looking at how they can protect their reputation by revamping their training or policies to prevent harassment in the workplace. If they do not update rules it could hurt them financially because of legal issue and productivity. Administrators have to make sure to know the policies inside and out to make sure any loop holes are not there and create a non-bias workplace. As the government is creating laws of equality between males and females because without that we will continue to see harassment in the workplace. Everyone had to work towards a common goal for the company and put the difference aside. Training is a key part in reducing the harassment by getting employees knowledge on how to look for the warning signs that something is happening in the workplace. Awareness of what to look for is how companies can combat harassment and making sure it handled in a professional manner and not sweeps under the table.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

Related Blog Posts

Receive regular updates, discounts, study guides and more

By clicking “Subscribe”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related emails.