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It's No Laughing Matter!

It's No Laughing Matter!

You may think it’s a joke or even a compliment but to those who have experienced sexual harassment, it’s no laughing matter. Sexual harassment at work can be undermining, demeaning, and deeply distressing; and it’s happening all too frequently.

According to the National Women’s Law Center’s (NWLC) Sexual harassment in the Workplace:

“Sexual harassment remains a widespread problem, affecting women in every kind of workplace setting and at every level of employment. Surveys indicate that at least one quarter of all women have experienced workplace sexual harassment. In Federal Fiscal Year 2015, almost one-third of all charges filed with the EEOC involved harassment, and nearly a quarter of those harassment charges involved sexual harassment.

Few victims of harassment formally make a complaint to their employers or file a charge with fair employment agencies. Indeed, according to surveys 70 percent to close to 90 percent do not. Women are reluctant to make allegations of sexual harassment for a number of reasons, including fear of losing their jobs or otherwise hurting their careers, fear of not being believed, the belief that nothing can or will be done about the harassment, and embarrassment or shame at being harassed.”

It’s important to note that sexual harassment is not just reserved for the office; it also happens to those who work in the community or outside an uncommon workplace. Lone workers are also under threat of sexual harassment and the chances and the severity could be magnified in this kind of environment. When harassment is perpetrated in a foreign environment, by a client or patient, the person experiencing the harassment may feel it is even more difficult to take action. Victims may feel they have less protection from their employer and less chance of being believed.

There should be mechanisms in place to prevent sexual harassment, prevention and control is a statutory obligation of every employer. Everyone should feel safe and that a report of sexual harassment will be viewed seriously and action appropriate action taken. The very fact that women feel powerless to report such behavior is shocking, but providing evidence of sexual harassment can be extremely difficult. However, lone workers using the SoloProtect ID makes it a lot easier.

At the push of a button, a trained SoloProtect EDC Operator is not only able to listen to any abusive or violent situation on an employee’s behalf, but also audio is recorded for future use. The call-handler can also escalate the situation if appropriate by alerting Emergency Services quickly and without the perpetrator being aware.

There’s no denying that sexual harassment is an indefensible act, but it is also counterproductive and negatively impacts company productivity. NWLC says, “Employers also suffer significant financial losses from the job turnover, use of sick leave, and losses to individual and workgroup productivity that result from unchecked harassment.

In addition to providing peace of mind and protection for the user, the SoloProtect ID helps employers meet their duty of care to their staff, and significantly reduce financial risk to their business and brand value.

Sexual harassment is always inappropriate and not something that workers should have to live with. Employers must take steps to do all they can to prevent sexual harassment both in and out of the workplace. The first step toward this will come from employers recognizing the magnitude of the problem and putting the necessary safeguards in place.

Employer Recommendations:

  • Regular education and training campaigns on the prevention of sexual harassment
  • Understand what behavior constitutes sexual harassment
  • Learn the impact of sexual harassment on the company and employees
  • Consider and understand how to prevent sexual harassment
  • Understand how to deal with sexual harassment
  • Be willing and able to listen to sexual harassment complaints
  • Explain to employees the corporate policies and procedures to prevent sexual harassment
  • Be aware of sexual harassment behavior models, keenly detect sexual harassment, and take timely actions (even if there is no formal complaint)
  • Give timely and adequate feedback to any complainer, and report any complaint about intimidation, forceful request, attack or rape without delay

 To find out more about safeguarding your employees, please click here.

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