Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

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SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Business Ethics
Philosophy Class 218

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

What is sexual harassment?
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), "sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment."
I think sexual harassment in the workplace is a social responsibility of business, unlike Milton Friedman's thoughts. Friedman believes corporations are there only to make a profit. He states, "there is one and only one social responsibility of business - to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits…" George Brenkert another author in Business Ethics believes that corporations should assume some of the social responsibility to help alleviate "public welfare deficiencies" , areas such as inner city, drug problems, and poverty.
Brenkert's article does not speak to social responsibilities within the workplace, only how corporations should help with society issues in the public scheme of things. One other author, Norman Bowie, takes a neoclassical view that "corporations are to make a profit while honoring the moral minimum and respecting individual rights and justice." The corporate social responsibility doctrine is most often conceived of as having to do mainly with what the corporation owes society. So the responsibility of corporations to treat their employees well is not often raised in this context.
From my perspective, I agree with Norman Bowie. Sexual behavior in the workplace is an appearance of general male dominance since it presents a moral



Citations: 5 Mead, Margaret; A Proposal: We Need Taboos on Sex at Work, Redbook (April, 1978) 31-33, 38 6 Kenneth Cooper is a leading analyst and speaker in the area of verbal and nonverbal communications and sexual harassment

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