If one of your employees says that he or she has been harassed, you may have a nightmare on your hands. Harassment could be any or all of the following:

1. Verbal harassment - epithets, derogatory comments or slurs. Examples: Name-calling, belittling, sexually explicit or degrading words to describe an individual, sexually explicit jokes, comments about an employee's anatomy and/or dress, sexually oriented noises or remarks, questions about a person's sexual practices, use of patronizing terms or remarks, verbal abuse, graphic verbal commentaries about the body.

2. Physical harassment - assault, impeding or blocking movement, or any physical interference with normal work or movement, when directed at an individual. Examples: Touching, pinching, patting, grabbing, brushing against or poking another employee's body, hazing or initiation that involves a sexual component, requiring an employee to wear sexually suggestive clothing.

3. Visual harassment - derogatory posters, cartoons or drawings. Examples: Displaying sexual pictures, writings or objects, obscene letters or invitations, staring at an employee's anatomy, leering, sexually oriented gestures, mooning, unwanted love letters or notes.

4. Sexual favors - unwanted sexual advances that condition an employment benefit upon an exchange of sexual favors. Examples: Continued requests for dates, any threat of demotion, termination, etc. if requested sexual favors are not given, making or threatening reprisals after a negative response to sexual advances, propositioning an individual.

That's not all! You should know that any of these things could put you out of business. When anyone says they have been harassed, treat the communication seriously and call in a qualified consultant to conduct an independent investigation immediately! To reduce such events, conduct workshops, seminars or one-on-one sessions for all employees, especially older managers (ask Bob why). You only have your fortune to lose.

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4109 Nabal Drive La Mesa CA. 91941-7039
Phone 619-670-1122 Fax 619-670-9363