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Sexual Harassment in The Workplace

Emily

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INTRODUCTION

Mitsubishi Motors, a Production Company where the female workers are working at the Standard, Illinois facility, where working conditions were far from average. Furthermore, to the $34 million, Mitsubishi paid out millions of dollars in individual suits. Frequently, the ladies were fondled, verbally humiliated, or harassed by sexual comments, behaviours, and graffiti. One male worker even blasted an air weapon between the legs of a female worker. Many women left due to the hostile work environment. Others were simply barred from development because they declined sexual favours. The most common definition of sexual misconduct at work is requesting sexual favours in exchange for job benefits.

The perpetrators of such harassment are frequently non-employees, such as customers or clients, as well as employers, supervisors, co-workers, and others. Any sexual harassment related to employment that takes place outside of the workplace as a result of obligations or relationships associated with employment is classified as sexual harassment in the workplace. Job-related social events, conferences, training sessions, travel, or job assignments away from the workplace, as well as over the phone or through electronic media, are just a few examples of the situations in which such employment-related sexual harassment may occur (Avendaño, 2018).

Unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, and any verbal or physical actions or written communications of a sexual character are all considered forms of sexual harassment.

(a) Acceptance of such behaviour is made a prerequisite or term of a person's work or training experience.

 (b) Refusal or acceptance of such behaviour is the basis for decisions affecting the person's academic or employment status.

(c) Such behaviour has either the goal or impact of unreasonable interference with a person's capacity to perform successfully in school, outside activities, or work, or of provoking, threatening, or insulting an employment or learning environment.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVE

The study was founded on two evidence-based recommendations, one aimed at ensuring legal compliance and the other at enhancing long-term employer-employee relations about sexual harassment.

Reducing Harassment and Discrimination at Work

It must guarantee protection from prejudice based on these factors. Establishing a framework of guidelines, instructions, and performance criteria based on the right values is the first step in creating a respectful workplace.

Fostering an environment that values respect and discourages improper behaviour is the fundamental strategy for minimizing harassment and discrimination at work. Everybody must be committed to making this kind of cultural change. At the management level, this means modelling acceptable behaviour, putting policies and training programs in place, providing crystal-clear reporting channels, and empowering employees to take the initiative. When staff members are trained to recognize the behaviours that are wrong and are prepared to respond, the likelihood of questionable behaviour is minimized.

Although there are numerous sorts of discrimination based on gender in the workplace, it generally occurs when a staff member or applicant for employment is treated differently or less favourably because of their sexual orientation, race, or participation in an organization associated with a specific sex or gender.

RELATIONSHIPS AND DUTY

1. Employees

Every employer has a responsibility to create and maintain a workplace free from sexual harassment, regardless of the scope of the company. Any charges of sexual harassment should be addressed by employers as soon as possible, to ensure that the accusers are not fearful of reprisals or that their concerns are being dismissed or ignored. All businesses should adopt, promote, execute, and monitor a sexual harassment policy within the constraints of the workplace, employment contracts, or other legal restrictions of the organization to successfully prevent sexual harassment at work. For the policy to be fully executed, it should be created in conjunction with the union.

2. WORKERS

Workers of any sex, age, position, form of contract, or status, have to prevent claims of sexual misconduct at work, support, and report problem behaviour, and abide by the company's sexual harassment policy.

3. COMMERCE UNIONS

Trade unions have a responsibility to contribute to the development and implementation of a company's sexual harassment policy and to ensure that discussions about sexual harassment at work are fair and open. Additionally, they ought to provide information, advice, and advocacy to both accused and accused employees that have been subjected to sexual harassment. These details on sexual harassment ought to be included in their continuing training and educational initiatives.

4. EMPLOYER ORGANISATIONS

Employer organizations should make sure that their staff orientation, education, and training programs cover sexual harassment (Cassino & Besen, 2019).

The different perspectives of state, and employers on sexual harassment measures

It prevents discrimination in employment and occupation based on race, colour, gender, faith, political views, nationalistic extraction procedure, and social origin, as well as other factors prohibited in state law by governments after consultation with representatives of employers and workers' organizationsIts goal is to protect all people from discrimination at work, and States that have ratified it must ensure protection against discrimination on these seven grounds.

The different perspectives of unions on sexual harassment

The responses of unions to sexual harassment in job markets that are still highly divided by gender and ethnicity have been shaped by gender-dominated unions' frequent complicity with male harassers and passive treatment of female targets (Cortina et al., 2021). After the #MeToo movement, certain unions had their unique workplace harassment challenges.

CRAAP ACTS (currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose)

Currency and Relevance

Several expenses related to workplace sexual harassment are borne by individuals, including victims, perpetrators, and witnesses, in addition to employers, the government, and society at large. These costs include diminished victim well-being, increased costs (such as medical treatment, complaints, and investigations), lost productivity (which reduces GDP), and other costs.

Authority for sexual harassment

It is the employer's or any other accountable party's duty to take all necessary precautions in the workplace or other institutions to stop or discourage sexual harassment, as well as to set up the procedures for the settlement, prosecution, or resolution of such acts.

Sexual harassment's purpose

Sexual harassment's purpose is to violate another person's dignity, especially when it occurs in a hostile, insulting, humiliating, or unpleasant environment. Sexual harassment is defined as "any type of unwanted sexual verbal, nonverbal, or physical action done to violate the respect of someone else, especially when done in a hostile environment."

Accuracy of sexual harassment

 More women than men (53% versus 25%) reported having experienced sexual harassment (Hemel & Lund, 2018).

  • Unwanted touching, clutching, stroking, or fondling was the most common type of sexual harassment encountered by women (33%), followed by improper comments about their physical features or sex life (30%). Men were most likely to complain about inappropriate touching, grabbing, groping, or fondling (13%), followed by offensive comments about their physical appearances or sexual behaviours (11%).
  • In the year preceding the research in 2016, women were almost twice as likely as men to have experienced sexual harassment (17% vs. 9.3%).

The improvement of the employer-employee relations

Employer-employee interactions are referred to as "employee relations." Currently, the word "employee relations" refers to individual as well as organizational ties at work. It portrays the rising classification of employee-employer interactions as a result of increased individual workplace rights (Opiyo, 2021).

The success of the policies ought to be assessed, for instance, by using:

  • The centralized records that record complaints at a level of specificity that enables trend analysis. For instance, the date of the incident, the nature of the business, the complainant and harasser's responsibilities, the protected characteristic, the legal category (harassment, sexual harassment, etc.),

To be able to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), employers must make sure that any such registry is compliant. For instance, they should go over contracts, rules, procedures, and privacy warnings to ensure that workers are informed that such data will be held, that the proper security measures are in place to protect the data and that any data processing is reasonable. Making sure just select a few people who have access to the data is one example (Pramberger, 2021).

The Information Commissioner's Office website provides more instructions on GDPR compliance.

  • The employee and employers ‘surveys that anonymously elicit information from all employees to paint the most realistic picture possible of workplace harassment, such as:

Whether they have experienced or seen harassment. Instead of directly asking the employee whether or not they have experienced harassment, the questions should describe behaviours that constitute harassment and ask the employee if they have experienced those behaviours (Bundestag & Lundqvist, 2020). Additionally, the questions should include the type of harassment the employee has experienced, whether they reported the harassment, why they did not report it, what happened after they did report the harassment, and whether or not they were satisfied with the outcome (Fairchild et al. 2018).

  • whether they would feel able to report harassment if they faced it in the future (regardless of whether they have in the past), and if not, why not; o whether they think the employer should be taking any action to address workplace harassment.
  • Following the resolution of complaints the lessons-learned workshops are held, and staff are given feedback as an illustration during exit interviews.

Rights and obligations to employment relationships are affected by Sexual Harassment

Ø The 1964 Civil Rights Act's Title VII

Ø The 1963 Equal Pay Act

Ø Act of 1967 Against Age Discrimination in Employment

Ø The rehabilitation legislation of 1973

Ø A 1991 law protecting civil rights

The idea that men and women should be given equal chances and respect in the workplace in addition to defining and preventing sexual harassment in the workplace, advocates for equality between men and women in employment and employment relations.

Legal obligations

Australia has comprehensive legal restrictions against sexual harassment that apply to the federal level as well as every State and Territory. These laws are part of a larger framework against discrimination. Australian anti-discrimination laws are our main tool for defending equality rights because neither the Constitution nor a bill of rights contains a guarantee of equality.

Sexual harassment is still a major issue in public life despite these regulations. The results of the survey reveal a much-sustained rate of sexual harassment of about 20% for all respondents and 33% for women.

The Australian Human Rights Commission has gathered information on sexual harassment since 2002, and the most recent poll is currently being conducted (Chen et al., 2022).

The Legal System

The Sex Discrimination Act of 1984, one of four federal anti-discrimination laws (together with the Racial Discrimination Act of 1975, the Disability Discrimination Act of 1992, and the Age Discrimination Act of 2004), makes sexual harassment illegal (at the federal level). Sexual harassment has a separate provision (s28A), but because it is also thought to be a type of sex discrimination, it is also prohibited in general by the same statute against both direct and indirect sex discrimination (Au et al., 2022).

According to s28A, sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, and other sexually explicit behaviour are the main components of sexual harassment. The term "conduct of a sexual nature" has a broad definition that covers things like making love, cracking jokes, and (in the context of other behaviour) flicking an elastic band at a co-worker’s legs (Shaw et al., 2018).

That conduct is inappropriate. It is more difficult to determine from case law if an applicant has demonstrated that the behaviour is unwanted. In one instance, for instance, a woman's participation in a sexually charged workplace atmosphere did not prevent a successful complaint, whilst another case saw a woman's "friendly" response to sexual comments backfire.

The filing of a report for sexual harassment

For allegations of anti-discrimination, including sexual harassment, conciliation is required. The Australian Human Rights Commission receives complaints made under the Federal Sex Discrimination Act. When a complaint is terminated by the Commission because it cannot be resolved amicably, a lawsuit may then be filed in federal court (Gupta & Garg, 2020).

CONCLUSION

In summary, the offering of unwanted sexual favours in exchange for employment advantages is referred to as sexual harassment at work. The only way to end sexual harassment in Australia's workplaces and communities is with the support of all Australians. Sexual harassment at work is not always inevitable. Such harassment is frequently committed by non-employees, including clients or customers, employers, supervisors, and co-workers, and on the other hand in enhancing employer-employee relations in the long run concerns sexual harassment, whereas the first is focused on legal compliance (Johnson et al. 2018).

The adherence to the law Australia has extensive legislative prohibitions against sexual harassment, which are enforced at both the federal and state/territorial levels. A more comprehensive anti-discrimination system includes laws like these where unions have a mixed track record when it comes to handling sexual harassment, particularly when the person being harassed is a union member. Male-dominated unions typically take a passive approach to sexually harassed women and frequently assist the harassers. As a result, gender and ethnic-divided labour markets have primarily shaped union responses to sexual harassment.

These responses have also been influenced by the labour movement's history of sexism, the exclusion of women from unions and the formal labour market, and the particular kind of feminism practised by women in the workplace that prioritizes a woman's financial circumstances over other cultural variables that disadvantage. One or more of the undesired behaviours described below are included in the definition of "sexual harassment" (either explicitly or implicitly).

The standard definition of sexual harassment at work is requesting sexual favours in exchange for employment benefits. Non-employees, such as customers or clients, as well as bosses, supervisors, co-workers, and others, are commonly the perpetrators of such harassment. It is alleged that sexual harassment at work violates a woman’s constitutionally protected right to equality, freedom, and privacy. In many nations around the world, harassment is a concern.

RECOMMENDATION FOR PROCEDURES CONCERNING SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE COMPANY POLICIES ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Sexual harassment policies in organizations should typically be kept distinct. However, in the case of smaller businesses, it may be beneficial to relate it to the company's non-discrimination and equality policy (Pramberger, 2021).

A clear definition of sexual harassment, a complaints/grievance procedure that is easy to understand, a prohibition against sexual harassment in the workplace, disciplinary regulations against the harasser and against whoever makes a false accusation, and beneficial and corrective steps for the victim are all required (Siuta & Bergman, 2019).

The commitment to preventing sexual harassment at work

To ensure that every individual, including those in managerial positions, will follow the business's rules against sexual harassment in the workplace, top management should make it explicit. Any male or female employee found to violate the policy will face strict disciplinary action, it should be abundantly clear that (a) the organization is committed to providing a sexual harassment-free workplace, (b) sexual harassment shall not be tolerated, and (c) managers and supervisors have a responsibility to both enforce the policy and set a good example for others.

Other measures

The sexual harassment policy of a company should address ways to safeguard everyone involved from disclosure both during the reporting process and while the complaint is being investigated. Employees should be informed about(a) filing a timely complaint, (b) testifying in court, and (c) publicizing their plan to do so would not result in retaliation or penalty. It must be made clear that the employer will not criticize the person being accused of harassment for being right or wrong when examining a complaint.

References

Au, S. Y., Tremblay, A., & You, L. (2022). Does board gender diversity reduce workplace sexual harassment?. Corporate Governance: An International Review.

Avendaño, A. (2018). Sexual harassment in the workplace: Where were the unions? Labour Studies Journal43(4), 245-262.

Bondestam, F., & Lundqvist, M. (2020). Sexual harassment in higher education–a systematic review. European Journal of Higher Education10(4), 397-419.

Cassino, D., & Besen‐Cassino, Y. (2019). Race, threat, and workplace sexual harassment: The dynamics of harassment in the United States, 1997–2016. Gender, Work & Organization26(9), 1221-1240.

Chen, L., Jilili, M., Wang, R., Liu, L., & Yang, A. (2022). The Influence of Person–Job Fit on Health Status and Depression Among Chinese Domestic Workers: Mediating Effect of the Employer–Employee Relationship. Frontiers in Psychology13.

Cortina, L. M., &Areguin, M. A. (2021). Putting people down and pushing them out: sexual harassment in the workplace. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior8, 285-309.

Fairchild, A. L., Holyfield, L. J., & Byington, C. L. (2018). National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report on sexual harassment: making the case for fundamental institutional change. Jama320(9), 873-874.

Gupta, D., & Garg, J. (2020). Sexual harassment at the workplace. International Journal of Legal Science and Innovation.

Hemel, D., & Lund, D. S. (2018). Sexual harassment and corporate law. Columbia Law Review118(6), 1583-1680.

Johnson, P. A., Widnall, S. E., Benya, F. F., & Washington, D. C. (2018). Sexual harassment of women. Climate, culture, and consequences in academic sciences, engineering, and medicine. Washington: National Academy of Sciences.

Kuanvinit, P. (2021). Contributors to the improvement of employer-employee relationships: the case of Thai migrants in Israel. In Work and Migration: Case Studies from around the World (pp. 143-160). Transnational Press London.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2018). Sexual harassment of women: climate, culture, and consequences in academic sciences, engineering, and medicine.

Opiyo, L. A. (2021). Employer-employee relationship and its effect on employees' attitude and organizational effectiveness.

Pramberger, A. (2021). Domestic Workers and the Employer-Employee Relationship in Delhi: Personal Connection and Dissonance. Vanderbilt Undergraduate Research Journal11.

Siuta, R. L., & Bergman, M. E. (2019). Sexual harassment in the workplace. In Oxford research encyclopedia of Business and Management.

Shaw, E., Hegewisch, A., & Hess, C. (2018). Sexual harassment and assault at work: Understanding the costs. Institute for Women’s Policy Research Publication, IWPR B376.