Regina's Blog

Flirtation or Sexual Harassment?

by Regina Clark - on Friday, December 01, 2017
Flirtation or Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment is a hot topic but unfortunately not a new topic. Females have been harassed for years. Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between friendly behavior and subtle sexual harassment. Other times, it's crystal clear. The first time I experienced inappropriate behavior by a man was when I was a college student and the coach of the men's swim team kissed my neck.  We were practicing head hold releases in the shallow end of the pool. I jumped out of that pool so fast and ran to the women's locker room, my whole body was shaking. I had a hard time understanding what had just happened. Unfortunately, I had no idea what sexual harassment was when I was 20 years old.

The first time I taught Sexual Harassment Awareness training was when I was a corporate Human Resource professional more than 25 years ago. When the training ended with the executive team, the CFO walked up to me and told me that every executive could be sued for creating a hostile work environment. He didn't need to tell me, I was very aware that the Senior Executives who were all men behaved badly. Some more than others.

If you or your employees are having a hard time determining what kind of behavior is inappropriate and/or unwanted, use the following questions as a guide.

  • Would I want my behavior to be the subject of a column in the company newsletter?
  • Is there equal power between me and the person that I'm interacting with?
  • Would I behave the same way if the person I'm in a relationship with were standing next to me?
  • Would I want someone else to act this way towards a person I'm in a relationship with?
  • Is there equal initiation and participation between me and the person I'm interacting with?

If you are interested in scheduling Sexual Harassment Awareness training for your staff in 2018, give me a call today at 845-294-7089. Don't wait until you make the news!

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