Sexual Harassment or Office Relationship?
April 25, 2010 9 Comments
What would you do if a co-worker was sexually harassed? You may not accept sexual harassment and you would report it right away to the right person for immediate action. But before reporting the harassment, you should make sure that you know the difference between office relationship and sexual harassment. The result of surveyed workers in the US stated that 40% of the surveyed workers admitted they dated a co-worker and 18% of them had dated more than one co-worker (Pearce II, 2010). The age group between 35 to 44 are most active group in the office relationship group because 44% of them admitted a relationship (Pearce II, 2010). Pearce II (2010) state that the age group of 55 and older are also participating in the office relations activity with lesser percentage of 34%. Office relationship is defined as “relationship between two individuals employed by the same company that advances beyond the socially acceptable employer-employee association and the work-related duties” (Pearce II, 2010, p. 38). Office relationship might be desirable by large number of employees but sexual harassment can lead to “employee turnover, absenteeism, insurance costs and lost productivity” (Popovich & Warren, 2010, p. 45). If you have been sexually harassed by a co-worker then you should:
- Remain calm and do not start blaming yourself.
- Tell the offender that you do not like what was done and it should be stopped immediately.
- Report the harassment to the right person. Fill the forms or write a litter of complain to you superior.
- Follow up on the investigation and disciplinary action. Make sure it will not happen to you or other co-worker.
But before you file a complain for your co-worker, make sure that they have been harassed.
Pearce II, J. A. (2010). What execs don’t get about office romance. [Article]. MIT Sloan Management Review, 51(3), 39-40.
Popovich, P. M., & Warren, M. A. (2010). The role of power in sexual harassment as a counterproductive behavior in organizations. [Article]. Human Resource Management Review, 20(1), 45-53. doi: 10.1016/j.hrmr.2009.05.003