Free Essay SamplesAbout UsContact Us Order Now

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

0 / 5. 0

Words: 3025

Pages: 11

48

Sexual Harassment in Workplace – Implications and Solutions
[Name of the Writer]
[Name of the Institution]

Abstract
Sexual harassment has become quite a prominent subject of study during the last decade after the emergence of evidence that has allowed it to be addressed on every level. On the international level, different organizations including the United Nations and International Labor Organization (ILO) provides a framework for a different organization to implement their policies in accordance to it. On the other hand, different governments provide a legal and litigation outlook of the perspective to maintain the environment in the workplace. The paper has also looked into different modes of communicating grievances together with various responsibilities of supervisors and managers in any organizational setting. Development of sound policy is surely one of the most promising solutions in solving sexual harassment issues and is a useful preventive measure. Apart from that, organizations also look forward to conducting different seminars and training on sexual harassment for both employers and employees.

Sexual Harassment in Workplace – Implications and Solutions
Introduction
During the last few decades, a growing awareness related to the extent and existence of sexual harassment in the workplace is quite commonly observed. In this regard, employers’, governments and different workers’ organizations have stepped into the ground for challenging this menace on industrial as well as domestic levels.

Wait! Sexual Harassment in the Workplace paper is just an example!

For doing so, there has been a widespread provision of various legal and litigation options formulated for combating this menace. Women have been subjected to workplace harassment much before the reporting of such incidences, and it usually based on the sex of the victim and conducts based on the sexual nature of offenders.
This paper will shed light on different topics including advancement on local as well as international spheres together with different national laws and the range of actions taken by different shareholders. This paper will also make references from ILO (International Labor Organization) conventions and will look for different policies and procedures within the workplace to mitigate these heinous acts.
Modes of Harassing Behaviors
Rubenstein (1992) has provided a number of potential behaviors that are designated and fall under the domain of sexual harassments. Quite commonly, it ranges from the most egregious acts that are prohibited and are part of criminals laws to different conducts that are part of day to day interactions including jokes, comments and most importantly, physical contact. They can be divided into three categories; namely, physical conducts, verbal conducts, and non-verbal conducts.
Nevertheless, certain types of behaviors can be considered inherently offensive, which implies those actions that result in verbal aggression or physical violence. However, other actions depend on the circumstances and can be considered entirely innocuous. Moreover, these types of behaviors are usually dependent on the local cultural perspectives and values (Pryor et al., 1997). However, the degree of the physical contact depends highly on the tolerance factor among different colleagues that can be considered more extensive in some cultures rather than others. Surely, this nature of these conducts should be visualized under the light of victim’s reasonableness. Hence, sexual harassment is a subject concept, and it depends on the individuals to decide whether the specific physical, verbal or non-verbal gesture has harassed him/her.
Extent of Sexual Harassment
With massive intensification of sexual harassment in workplace, it has become quite evident that this problem is not limited to a specific culture, nation and/or industrial setting; rather, it has plagued all the countries in the world. Nevertheless, in some countries, it is quite widely ignored. Research has uncovered its pervasiveness (Chappell & Di Martino, 2006) whereas the legal cases have also exposed the tracks of such acts in industrial as well as domestic grounds (Aeberhard, 2001). During the initial few studies, quite meager amount of cases has been highlighted in developing countries. However, during the last decade, it has become quite evident that this problem is a much bigger problem for the industrialized countries. Hence, researches have been conducted in order to develop preventive measures as part based on different economic and cultural grounds.
Harassment of Women and Men
Before moving forward with different policies and mitigating measures for reducing this menace, a clear understanding between the sexual harassment of women and men should have to be understood. From the available literature on sexual harassment, it can be indicated that the majority of workers that are subjected to sexual harassment are women (US Merit Systems Protection Board, 2015). Nevertheless, it is not certain that the harassment is uniform for all women in a working condition; rather, it is more prevalent for the women who are more prone.
Apart from those findings also points out that the women who are financially dependent at a specific job are prone to a higher degree of harassment at workplace. Young workers and fresh graduates are some of the easy targets for these perpetrators (Chappell and Di Martino, 2006). Another group of women who are more likely to be targeted includes single, widowed, separated and divorced women. Apart from that, the organizational culture is another prominent issue that is related to the degree of harassment of women at workplace. More specifically, women working in non-traditional jobs having the male dominant cultural environment and working under male supervisor are more likely to get harassed (University of Minnesota, 2015). In most of the developing countries, informal sector workers and casual workers are subjected to higher risks because of the lack of alternative career choices together with lack of their social isolation, financial resources and lack in language skills (Office for the High Commission for Human Rights, 2015). These factors are magnified in some countries having different government imposed restrictions based on the mobility of different migrant workers.
On the other hand, harassment of men has also surfaced during the last decade. Reports of different men that are subjected to harassment together with different number of complaints have gained substantial attention. The targeted group is also quite similar to those mentioned in women’s sexual harassment domain. It includes gay men, young men, men belonging to racial and ethnic minorities and men working under female dominant workplace (Rubenstein and ILO, 1992). Nevertheless, preventive measures are quite commonly adapted to fight harassment for men and same sex harassments.
Combating Against Sexual Harassments
In order to fight this menace, several methods have been employed which covers international as well as national legislations. Apart from these necessities, there are laws that are designed specifically for the protection of people belonging to the same-sex group too.
United States and Organizations
Within different organizations of the United States, sexual harassment is quite commonly considered as the manifestation of violence instead of a type of discrimination against certain sex. Among that, the “Inter-American Convention on Violence against Women” has been enacted in 1995, and it defines different violence against women with the workplace. Also, the convention provides the right of the women to be protected against violence and at the same time, imposes different duties on the Unites States to safeguard and promote that right. The States has also imposed different penalties along with severe legal provisions to punish and eradicate this menace by all necessary means. The legal actions are taken in order to refrain the perpetrators from harassing women and hence, establish different procedures for the victim which includes ensuring that they have their due access to effective and just remedies (McCann, 2005).
Social Cooperation at National Level
Apart from the national level, the social partners have brought the forward initiative to take international level action for the sexual harassment within the workplace. In the year 1998, the Internal Confederation of Free Trade Unions’ (ICFTU) Executive Board has provided an action plan for their combat against sexual harassment through a unified trade union movement. At that time, the ICFTU has also declared their complete opposition against sexual harassment and has asked their regional organizations and affiliates to adopt all effective measures in mitigating it from all levels of trade union and make the activities of trade unions more transparent. Apart from that it has also put forward a number of suggestions that can enable the organizations to provide better control of sexual harassment at all levels. This included the promotion of events for enhancing the policy exposure to all the employees together with dealing with complaints and inclusion of different investigative procedures that would cover every trade union and/or workplace (David, 1997).
International Labor Organization and Conventions
The International Labor Organization has also addressed the sexual harassment through different conventions. Moreover, it has also discussed this very topic during tripartite meetings thereby leading to different training and research in this matter. In the most recent development, it has been stressed that the complete elimination of sexual violence and harassment at workplace is the key element for promotion of decent workplace for women (Vosko, 2002: International Labor Organization, 2015a).
Convention No. 111 of the International Labor Organization addresses a number of issues regarding the discrimination at the workplace. It has also provided different provision for discrimination on the basis of sexual grounds, too. The Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations (CEDAW) has defined sexual harassment as “[A]ny insult or inappropriate remark, joke, insinuation and comment on a person’s dress, physique, age, family situation, etc; a condescending or paternalistic attitude with sexual implications undermining dignity; any unwelcome invitation or request, implicit or explicit, whether or not accompanied by threats; any lascivious look or other gesture associated with sexuality; and any unnecessary physical contact such as touching, caresses, pinching or assault” (International Labor Organization, 2015).
The definition covers almost every aspect of any targeted form of discrimination associated as part of the sexual harassment. It has also specifically extended the definition towards different condescending attitudes.
Workplace Policies, Procedures, and Preventing Measures
There are numerous legal measures that can address different complaints thereby playing a part in the prevention of sexual harassment. Nevertheless, the core preventive measures reside within the workplace policies and handling of complaints along with their procedures. It plays quite a significant role in the eradication of sexual harassment from workplaces and because of the fact numerous policies have been introduced as part of the organizations all around the world. However, an analysis of these policies and procedure would allow better understanding of different provisions that can help in mitigating the risk (McCann, 2005).
Workplace Policies and Preventive Role
There are various legal options available for the victim, and the legal remedies are quite necessary. However, the core purpose of most of the victims is not suing the employer for the damages; rather, it is the act of stopping the sexual harassment to happen to someone else. Moreover, the aim is that it should not recur, and the victims are protected against raising such complaints. Hence, the most effective option for dealing with sexual harassment at workplace is to develop and afterward, implement a preventive policy at the organizational level (Rubenstein and ILO, 1992). The legal framework allows the employers to make efforts in order to prevent it from happening time and again. However, development of guidelines is a mandatory practice that should be followed. Even during the time when the company was not aware of any heinous act within their premises, it would be held completely responsible for not deploying necessary preventive measures from making it happen.
In the organizations where there are no policies, there are minute chances of the victim to seek proper justice and relief. However, in some of the circumstances, the unions take ad hoc actions against the complaint and can manage to address the problem of the victim. Khan et al. (2000) has mentioned a similar incidence having the dismissal of a Bangladeshi manager after a complaint against him is launched from the trade union. However, different cultures have different reporting channels. But, these actions do not provide any mitigating outlook for the problem on the long-term basis.
The core advantage of the workplace mechanism lies within the legislation as part of their responsibility is quite commonly preventive in nature. Rather than being only responsive to sexual harassment, these policies ensure that these events would not happen again. Also, effective implementation of workplace policy enhance employees protection by dissuading different potential harassments as well as identification and responding of different harassing behaviors in early stages. Moreover, the procedure of well-functioning complaints helps in mitigation of likelihood of common harassment targets that are being forced to go for the legal process.
Nevertheless, in those jurisdictions having no enactment of sexual harassment laws and/or the reluctance of courts is well evident to extent the sex discrimination protection for covering it, organizational policies play quite a vital role in providing better outlook for the victim who is seeking redress. Highly communicated together with implemented policies lead towards the encouragement of victims of harassment so that they can report their experiences related to their employers. A research has also demonstrated that quite a few workplace sexual harassment victims take any kind of formal step because of the reasons which usually included the ignorance of different possibly available routes together with lack of confidence among the organizations to adequately respond to different problems (Welsh, 2002). Also, these substantially lower amounts of complaints reporting are significant enough. They are because of two core reasons, including the lack of concern of individual involved as well as the clack of complaints about the employers having lower incidences of sexual harassment within their respective organizations. The policy plays a pivotal role in encouraging the employees to report any case of sexual harassment and hence, it also restores confidence within their employers as part of complaints’ response.
Apart from different advantages that accrue to sexual harassment’s victims, there are surely a number of sources that are quite a beneficial part of consequences for different employers that can implement anti-harassment policies within their organization. Although, introduction of sexual harassment policy can bring about to a greater degree of discrimination, it also allows the employees to highlight their end of commitment in order to provide equal opportunities of employment in every sector. Furthermore, the prevention of sexual harassment also results in better productivity. More likely, targets of sexual violence and harassment cannot concentrate on their work in much better fashion which is mainly due to lack of motivation and deteriorating morale of employee (victim). In extreme cases, some can become ill as a result of the very unfortunate incident. For the corporate world, the incursion of this incidence can lead to different harms to a company; the most severe among them is the loss of company’s reputation. Besides it, the company would also suffer lack of productivity, absenteeism, high turnover for staff and ever-growing costs related to medical insurance and sick pay. Through sexual harassment policies, the organizations and employers ensure that their organization will remain compliant with different legal requirements as set forth by different governmental, international and social institutions in order to avoid any compensation awards and defense costs (McCann, 2005).
Preventing Sexual Harassment – Other Measures
Besides enactment of sexual harassment policy on the enterprise level, other methods are also quite fruitful in the eradication of sexual violence and harassment from the workplace. Most of the enterprises aim themselves at the implementation of different types of policies together with the development of broader measures for integrating women as part of their workforce. The rest of the discussion will be based on providing documented individual procedures that do not include the isolation of women in male dominant industrial settings.
Considering that, a European Union (EU) study has concluded that among different characteristics of the organization, sexual harassment plays quite a significant role. In a different organization that is surveyed different organizational climate quite commonly emerges as the only viable reasoning behind different rates of sexual harassment. The research has also reinforces the previous studies that have shown that the sexual harassment is much more prevalent within sexualized work environments; specifically, in cultures where it is tolerated rather than properly addressed. Also, there are enterprise policies that can help in designing of better integration of women into different non-traditional jobs thereby ensuring a more supportive and secured working environment that can enhance sexual harassment policies.
Besides adaptation of strong policy that can define sexual harassment and its implications in the clearest words, training is another core aspect that can induce strong cultural change within the organizations. Most of the organizations have a practice of conducting training sessions at least ones in a year for employees. These sessions quite commonly help in teaching employees that are at higher risk of sexual harassment. Moreover, the training should also include the importance of working in an environment that is free from all kind of sexual harassments. Moreover, it should also include reviewing of different complaint procedures and encouragement of employees.
On the other hand, training of supervisors and managerial level of organizations should have to be carried out separately at least once in a year. This session would allow better understanding about the sexual harassment together with their potential implication through different case studies from the past. Nevertheless, it also includes providing substantial awareness to every employee and employer within the organization to allow better follow up with the sexual harassment policies. Also, it should be noted that it is the responsibility of managers and supervisors to monitor the organizational workplace periodically. It would allow enhancement of interaction among the subordinates thereby leading to greater trust and confidence building. This practice can greatly enhance the open door policy that is a basic part of different developing organizations. Once the complaint is launched, it should be made sure that the investigation of different complaints is going on at an accelerated pace. It would reduce the frustration level of a victim and provide them a secured channel to communicate their grievances (England, 2012).
Conclusion
All in all, sexual harassment is one of the emerging problems of the modernized industrial environment. Surely, the organizations and industries have gone through tremendous changes on every scale. This paper has addressed different sexual harassment issues within the workplace along with brief overview about the preventive actions for different organizations. Nevertheless, it also includes the provision of the better workplace environment for all irrespective of their gender.
The word “sexual harassment” quite commonly refers to harassment that a female employee faces in the workplace. Nonetheless, further research should be conducted on addressing issues faced by males as part of different sexual harassment within the workplace. It is also note-worthy that protected groups including gays and lesbians should also be provided with enhanced provisions in order to integrate them as a better part of organizations.
References
Aeberhard, J. H. (2001). Sexual harassment in employment: recent judicial and arbitral trends. WOMEN, GENDER WORK, 503.
Chappell, D., & Di Martino, V. (2006). Violence at work. Geneva: International Labour Office.
England, D. C. (2012). Essential Guide to Handling Workplace Harassment & Discrimination, The. Nolo.
International Labor Organization,. (2015). Convention C111 – Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111). Retrieved 1 May 2015, from http://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=NORMLEXPUB:12100:0::NO::P12100_ILO_CODE:C111
International Labor Organization,. (2015a). Eliminating Discrimination in the Workplace. Retrieved 1 May 2015, from http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—ed_emp/—emp_ent/—multi/documents/publication/wcms_116342.pdf
Khan, M. E., Rob, U., & Hossain, S. M. (2000). Violence against women and its impact on women’s lives-some observations from Bangladesh. Journal of Family Welfare, 46(2), 12-24.
McCann, D. (2005). Sexual harassment at work: National and international responses. Geneva: International Labour Office.
N. David: “The trade union hand”, in Trade Union World, Vol. 1, September 1997, note 15
Office for the High Commission for Human Rights,. (2015). Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences,. Retrieved 2 May 2015, from http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Women/15YearReviewofVAWMandate.pdf.
Rubenstein, M., & ILO, O. (1992). Dealing with sexual harassment at work: The experience of industrialized countries.
Tang, C. (1998). Sexual harassment: The dual status of and discrimination against female migrant workers in urban areas. SOCIAL SCIENCES IN CHINA-ENGLISH EDITION-, 19, 64-71.
University of Minnesota,. (2015). Sexual Harassment – What is Sexual Harassment?. Retrieved 2 May 2015, from http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/svaw/harassment/explore/1whatis.htm
US Merit System Protection Board,. (2015). SEXUALHARASSMENT IN THE FEDERALWORKPLACE Trends, Progress, Continuing Challenges. Retrieved 1 May 2015, from http://www.mspb.gov/netsearch/viewdocs.aspx?docnumber=253661&version=253948.
Vosko, L. F. (2002). Decent Work ‘The Shifting Role of the ILO and the Struggle for Global Social Justice. Global Social Policy, 2(1), 19-46.
Welsh, S. (2000). The Multidimensional Nature of Sexual Harassment An Empirical Analysis of Women’s Sexual Harassment Complaints. Violence Against Women, 6(2), 118-141.

Get quality help now

Rima Hartley

5.0 (445 reviews)

Recent reviews about this Writer

I am grateful to studyzoomer.com for connecting me with a talented essay writer. They produced an exceptional essay that showcased their expertise and dedication.

View profile

Related Essays

Recism and Health

Pages: 1

(275 words)

Cyberattack Brief

Pages: 1

(275 words)

THe US trade dificit

Pages: 1

(275 words)

Politics in our daily lives

Pages: 1

(275 words)

History Islam Text 2

Pages: 1

(275 words)

Bishop Stanley B Searcy Sr

Pages: 1

(275 words)

Phar-Mor

Pages: 1

(550 words)