By: Chris Mason
“Unlawful harassment, including sexual harassment, has plagued the workplace since long before the madmen days of the male-dominated business world of the 1950s and 1960s, but its visibility has increased in recent years because of the growing #MeToo movement. Irrespective of these developments, but perhaps more acutely because of them, employers should heed the cautionary tales of those who have tumbled in the wake of harassment allegations, including countless well-recognized celebrities, politicians, and media figures. Fortunately, a few simple and consistent measures, such as the adoption of a written anti-harassment policy and the implementation of a proper training program, can help reduce the risk of unlawful conduct in the workplace.
All employees are protected from unlawful harassment, although understanding what this means, and its full context can be confusing. A common misconception is that anything an employee finds “harassing” is unlawful. This is obviously incorrect. The workplace can be stressful with deadlines, demanding expectations, and sometimes tense or unpleasant personalities. But even having unpleasant personalities in the workplace is not unlawful, just a realistic reflection of the work environment. Harassment is only unlawful if it concerns a protected class or protected activity. The harassment must be sufficiently severe and pervasive to create a work environment that would be intimidating, hostile or offensive to the reasonable person. ”
To read the full article, please click here.