I don’t care how bad it gets at your company. I don’t care if you’ve been furloughed five times and have seen hundreds of your coworkers laid off.
No matter how scary it gets.
No matter how nervous you are about keeping your job…
There is no reason to let some smarmy boss put his or her hands all over you, or try to kiss you, or touch your butt, or threaten you with loosing your position if you don’t go out on a date with them.
I’ve noticed a disturbing trend lately — sexual harassment cases seem to be on the rise.
After declining for several years, the number of sexual harassment charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are increasing again. In 2008, the total number of charges filed hit 13,867, up from 12,510 the previous year.
And Michael Elkins, a labor and employment attorney with Miami-based Fowler White Burnett, says he’s noticed a spike in sexual harassment claims in the last two years.
Today, there’s a big story in the Wall Street Journal on how sexual harassment is plaguing the United Nations. Yes, the U.N., where the world comes to find peace, understanding, and fair treatment of our fellow human beings.
Many U.N. workers who have made or faced accusations of sexual harassment say the current system for handling complaints is arbitrary, unfair and mired in bureaucracy. One employee’s complaint that she was sexually harassed for years by her supervisor in Gaza, for example, was investigated by one of her boss’s colleagues, who cleared him.
Cases can take years to adjudicate. Accusers have no access to investigative reports. Several women who complained of harassment say their employment contracts weren’t renewed, and the men they accused retired or resigned, putting them out of reach of the U.N. justice system.
It’s disgusting to hear, but I thought it was a good idea to remind everyone that you don’t have to take crap like this from your bosses.
Given that most companies today have real sexual harassment policies in place, Lewis Maltby, president of the National Workrights Institute, says workers who report bad behavior will probably be protected against retaliation. Unless, you’re accusing some high level manager at work. Then you may be taking a bigger risk when it comes to your job, he cautions.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go after the big wig if the behavior rises to real sexual harassment.
And I mean, “real” folks. To many women today get upset if a guy they’re not attracted to asks them out on a date, or gets put off if they compliment their outfit.
We can’t go whining about every sexual advance men, or women for that matter, make. When you throw a bunch of sexually active adults into an office, or factory together there’s going to be some sexual tension.
I personally don’t mind off-colored jokes and naked pictures. But look, you all have to figure out what your tolerance level is. Just don’t be a stuffed shirt about it.
That said, most of us know what has gone from fun to disgusting. You don’t have to take disgusting even in a recession.