April 7, 2019

Time's up for high tolerance

If the #TimesUp and #MeToo movement has taught us anything, it’s that undesired sexual advances and inappropriate sexual contact and comments are top of mind in the workplace today, and for good reason: Women and men alike are fed up with this behavior, and they’re less likely to tolerate it any longer.

But despite the outing of accused high profile business moguls like Harvey Weinstein and Les Moonves, sexual harassment remains a big problem in the work environment—for both big and small businesses.

For proof, ponder the latest data. A 2018 Stop Street Harassment report reveals that 38 percent of women and 13 percent of men suffer sexual harassment on the job. According to a 2018 Hiscox Workplace Harassment Study, 41 percent of female employees and over one-third of all workers say they’ve been harassed at work; 78 percent of those accused are men, and 73 percent hold a senior position to the accuser; and 45 percent of employees have observed a co-worker’s harassment in the workplace. Additionally, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported that sexual harassment claims for the year ending Sept. 30, 2018, increased 12 percent over the prior year.

Being able to respond appropriately to an employee’s sexual harassment complaint, should one arise, requires a better grasp of what constitutes sexual harassment and effective implementation of policies, processes and training. I write about this topic in my latest article for The US Chamber of Commerce's new website, CO–, geared toward small business owners. Read the full story here.