By Norman E. Friedman, M. ED., AMSkier Partner
As my colleague Fran Mendelowitz, LCSW founder of InterAct NY & AMSkier Partner, wrote recently, sexual misconduct at several major television networks, public radio, Congress, Hollywood, and the White House demands our attention as we continually re-staff our businesses and move into a new year.
One of the guiding principles of AMSkier is to educate our clients and friends on critical issues like inappropriate workplace behavior and to be available to assist you to address them. To begin the process of education and prevention we offer some suggestions.
What Constitutes Sexual Harassment
Staff need to be clear about what constitutes inappropriate workplace behavior and that it will not be tolerated:
- Sexual pranks, or repeated sexual teasing, jokes, or innuendo, in person or via e-mail;
- Verbal abuse of a sexual nature;
- Touching or grabbing of a sexual nature;
- Repeatedly standing too close to or brushing up against a person;
- Repeatedly asking a person to socialize during off-duty hours when the person has said no or has indicated he or she is not interested;
- Giving gifts or leaving objects that are sexually suggestive;
- Repeatedly making sexually suggestive gestures; and
- Making or posting sexually demeaning or offensive pictures, cartoons or other materials.
Victims and Harassers
To be clear about what constitutes both a victim and harasser, note the following:
- A victim of sexual harassment can be a man or a woman.
- The victim can be of the same sex as the harasser.
- The harasser can be a supervisor, co-worker, or a non-employee.
- The harasser can be a person who has a business relationship with you and your business.
If an allegation of inappropriate workplace behavior is brought to your attention, you should note the following:
- You are committed to immediately respond to anyone at the workplace who experiences sexual harassment or observes it.
- You are knowledgeable of the reporting requirements and procedures of this state.
- Investigations of any allegation will be thorough and impartial and will be assigned to staff who have received special training.
- You will take immediate corrective action if it is determined that sexual harassment has taken place.
The inclusion of these guidelines are suggested for your staff manuals, staff posters and employment applications. We will continue to update you and provide guidance and updates as we continue forward together.
As always, we remain available for our clients 24/7. We at AMSkier Insurance wish you and those you love a wonderful holiday and a safe and peaceful New Year.
Are you interested in beginning a relationship with AMSkier Insurance? Contact us today!
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