Today’s business environment is complicated. Executives, managers, and HR professionals face tough issues and new sets of problems that weren’t even imaginable a few years ago. At Georgia Employers’ Association, our mission is to provide resources, training, and direct assistance to help businesses manage risk, improve productivity, and build an engaged workforce. Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be posting a special series that looks at Critical Workplace Issues and Solutions for Georgia’s employers, leading up to our 2 day event at Lake Lanier on July 26 and 27.
Critical Issue #1: Sexual Harassment at Work
It’s just a harmless joke, right? It’s Bob. He’s the office funny guy, always ready with a joke, and sometimes they’re a little off color. But this time you notice a really disgusted expression on the face of one of Bob’s co-workers.
Your company has a sexual harassment policy. You’ve conducted the obligatory training class, but attention levels weren’t great. Now the holiday party looks like it could be trouble. How did you get into this mess?
Depending on the statistics you read, as many as one in 3 women report sexual harassment in the workplace. EEOC Data from 2016 shows 6758 charges of sexual harassment filed in the US. 16.6% of the charges were filed by male employees. The EEOC mandated awards associated with the settlements totaled $40.7 million, but lawsuits can much more expensive. Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson was awarded a $20 million settlement from the TV network.
The costs of sexual harassment in the workplace aren’t just monetary, though. Harassment does damage to individuals. It can create an unproductive work environment and damage the reputation of your brand.
It’s easy to see that Bob’s joke could be an indicator of a much more serious problem. How can you effectively discourage sexual harassment in the workplace? What are the indicators that there’s a problem? How do you investigate harassment charges?
Sexual harassment can be a big problem. Do you need solutions?
You’ll want to attend Georgia Employers’ Association’s Best Practices Workshop at Lake Lanier on July 26 – 27. We’ll discuss some difficult workplace issues, including sexual harassment, and you’ll learn about solutions that you can implement to reduce the risks to your employees and your organization.
US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Charges Alleging Sex-Based Harassment (Charges filed with EEOC) FY 2010 – FY 2016.