Workplace Harassment Isn’t Confined To Hollywood’s Casting Couch

Sticky Situation:

More than a week ago, a number of American actresses alleged being the targets of inappropriate Hollywood “casting couch” culture and massage invitations. Now there are dozens, including individuals from outside the city of stars, who have denounced these behaviours. That is a courageous and good thing.

But, as you may sadly know, vexatious requests are not only made to movie stars or stars in the making. As the “Sticky Situation” blogger on HuffPost Canada and as a former human resources manager, I can assure you that these inappropriate behaviours happen in many employment sectors and in all types of jobs.

Since 2011, I have received emails from readers, usually on a Sunday night before they return to work on Monday, asking me what to do when they feel disrespected or are uncomfortable by certain words or actions made by a superior, a colleague or even a client.

This discomfort also applies when you are exposed to derogatory comments, photos or videos that are offensive to you.

In our courts, all workplaces must be free of words and gestures that jeopardize the employee’s right to fairness, tolerance, freedom and security.

When an employee, woman or man, is uncomfortable, disturbed or upset by offensive behaviours at work, the line from a fair and equitable working relationship to that of harassment has been crossed.

Sexual or other types of harassment are considered when an employee feels discriminated against, intimidated or is experiencing discomfort with what he or she sees and hears in their work environment.

These situations are emotionally draining. They are about power, control and intimidation. They are difficult for new recruits, but also for experienced professionals. Harassment does not discriminate between sectors of the economy or organizational levels.

Loss of job, fear of being passed over for a promotion, anxiety, physical ailments, …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Business

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