Professor LaKisha Bryant
August 12, 2010
Public Relations vs. Sexual Harassment
Sexual Harassment can be a huge distraction and could destroy a businesses work environment. The effects are damaging to an organization and do not only affect the individual being harassed but also fellow employees, the harasser, and the organization. Sexual harassment is when someone uses sexual behavior to control a person, whether it is behavioral or physical in nature, which makes you feel uncomfortable. This paper on this issue will include what exactly sexual harassment is, the effects on the sexual harassment has on the person, employees, and workplace, and the different procedures and processes to prevent such cases.
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sexual harassment is define as:
“Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal
or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when (1)
submission to such conduct is made either emplicitly or implicitly a term or
condition of an individuals employment: (2) submission to, or rejection of,
such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions
affecting such individual: or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of
substantially interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating
an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment (Paludi, Michele A.,
Barickman, Richard B., page 3).”
Some of the most common forms of sexual harassment charges come because a person feels they are being harassed or singled out when they lose their job, benefits or privileges or more commonly when they are fired because they reject a sexual advance from a superior. This form of sexual harassment is the most common in that a superior often times will promise a person job security if they do sexual favors for them. However, if that person refuses the advances the boss or supervisor wills often times fire that person figuring that they do not want that person telling others what happened and by firing them they have control of the situation. Most times sexual harassment is a sense of power for the accused and they feel that with the power they have that they can sway the judgments of others, and often times do so until someone stands up to them. The second type of sexual harassment is when the harassment interferes with an employee’s ability to perform his/her job duties and it creates an intimidating work atmosphere. Often times this is caused by fellow employees, supervisors, or outside vendors or business people. This type of harassment usually involves flirting, physical contact, whistling, sexual pictures or jokes, and so on.
As stated previously, there are two types of sexual harassment that may occur in the workplace. Sexual harassment can occur in any number of circumstances. For example, the victim as well as the harasser may be a woman or a man. The victim does not necessarily have to be of the opposite sex either. In addition, the victim does not necessarily have to be the one being harassed, but could be anyone that is offended by a persons conduct, and the harasser’s conduct must be unwelcome.
While the conduct of the harasser must be unwelcome, it must also be undesirable. The harasser’s intent and behavior are based on the perception of the victim. Many times the one being accused of harassment may not even know he did anything wrong if he was just telling a joke to a friend and a fellow co-worker was near by and overheard the joke and took offense to it. In addition the harasser’s intent or joke may not be sexual in nature at all, but their actions may be taken as sexually suggestive or uncomfortable by others.
Therefore, we turn to how sexual harassment affects the person being harassed. In general, most people would assume that women are the ones in this economy to be...