Understanding The Myths And Realities About Sexual Harassment In The Workplace
These days, sexual harassment is a major concern in workplaces across the United States. Indeed, a sexual harassment lawsuit could very well put a company in serious financial trouble--which is why it's recommended that all business owners have a trusted sexual harassment lawyer, like those at Campbell, Dille, Barnett & Smith, P.L.L.C., on their side for legal guidance and defense. Even with increased training on what constitutes sexual harassment, however, there are still a lot of myths floating around out there about it.
Myth 1: Action Can't Be Taken Until a Formal Complaint is Filed
A lot of times, business owners get into trouble not only because sexual harassment occurred in the workplace, but because a manager or supervisor didn't do anything to stop or address it. Specifically, many people in management or supervision positions are under the misguided assumption that unless a formal complaint for sexual harassment is filed, they have no obligation to do anything about perceived harassment in the workplace. In reality, managers have a legal obligation to not only put an end to harassment, but to report the behavior to higher ups.
Myth 2: Sexual Harassment Laws Really Only Protect Women
Another common misconception that exists about sexual harassment is that laws regarding sexual harassment are only designed to protect women. After all, it's only men who harass women in the workplace, right? Actually, this isn't the case; men can and are sexually harassed in the workplace every day, and so these laws aren't just in place to protect women's rights. The exact same laws apply to men as they do to women, so nobody is exempt from sexual harassment regulations.
Myth 3: It's Only Harassment if it Was Intentional
A common defense for people who are accused of sexual harassment in the workplace was that they didn't mean to offend anybody or that the entire situation was an accident/misunderstanding. However, there is absolutely no excuse for sexual harassment, and just because it was done without malice doesn't mean that a person cannot be charged with it. Even a seemingly lighthearted joke that's sexually offensive in nature can be viewed as sexual harassment in the workplace and treated as such.
As you can see, workplace sexual harassment is no joke; more and more these days, it's being taken very seriously by both employers and employees alike. By being aware of the common myths surrounding sexual harassment, you can be sure to understand your rights at work.