How to Approach Sexual Harassment Policies- Why the Victim Is Blamed

sexual harassment

So management has asked you to do sexual harassment training and make sure the policies are adhered to with the employees you manage. It’s not an easy task and not a comfortable one either. Here are a few tips to make sure that your policy is implemented and adhered to.

Treat it seriously from day one.

When you have the initial training and explain the policies to your employees you need to be serious. More than likely, there will be a few employees there begrudgingly. They will feel the training is a waste of time and they might make a disparaging comment or two. The comments likely will revolve around how you can’t say anything anymore or that we don’t live in a free country anymore. Don’t smile or snap at them. Stay calm and tell them that Sexual Harassment important because we all deserve to work in a place that is comfortable and free from harassment. Explain to them that the company has a zero tolerance for Harassment and like it or not it is company policy. It’s up to you to address any comments immediately. If you don’t, your employees won’t take the policy seriously.

Once the training has been finished and the policy implemented you will run into a situation. Someone will send an inappropriate email or tell an inappropriate joke. How you handle this situation is critical. If you smile or laugh at the joke while you tell them it’s inappropriate and not tolerated, they will not take the policy seriously. You need to be stern but not angry and explain that the joke or email is not acceptable and that it is not not tolerated under the company’s sexual harassment policy.

It’s become all too common in the instance of sexual harassment complaints. The victim is blamed. Why does this behavior occur and what can organizations do about it? It comes down to both power and preconceived notions by coworkers and it can be thwarted by a well-defined sexual harassment policy. Here are some of the most common reasons a victim can be blamed.

Harassment is first and foremost about power and in many cases harassment occurs when a powerful member of an organization harasses a less powerful member. Powerful members of an organization have generally been in the organization longer than a less powerful individual. Co-workers have known them longer and have developed a stronger relationship with them. It is natural that they would have back the employee they know better.

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Powerful members of an organization are also seen as skilled, valuable members of the team. The value these individuals add to an organization makes them also seen as irreplaceable and too important to lose. Co-workers will rally behind valuable members of a team because they wish for their organization to be successful.

Most people consider themselves decent human beings who respect others. They have a hard time believing that another person is capable of the things they have been accused of. Therefore, they believe the victim is lying or exaggerating the situation.

Many times the victim has endured the harassment for some time because of embarrassment, shame or fear of retaliation. They will wait until the harassment becomes unbearable before filing a complaint. Because of this co-workers will believe that they went along and condoned the behavior and therefore invited the attention.

Whatever the reason that a victim gets blamed, one thing is for certain. All organizations need to write a clear sexual harassment policy and train their employees on this policy. Victims of harassment should never feel that they are alone or under the threat of retaliation. The utmost care should be focused on privacy and all employees should know the legal result of retaliation.

When looking for sexual harassment lawyers, give our representatives a try—advice, and support for sexual harassment in the workplace. Sexual Harassment Services and Advice. We provide the best representation in sexual harassment claims:

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