Final Report ()

ExecutiveSummary

Sexualharassment is a persistent problem, which has been prevalent anddocumented for many years. It is only recently that sexual harassmenthas been acknowledged as a serious problem, particularly in theworkplace. The findings within this formal report explore the humanrelations environment, identify causes as well as shortcomings, andhighlight some recommended changes.

Researchand statistics have proven that sexual harassment is an increasingproblem across the workforce within corporate America. &nbspWithinthe company, there have been increasing reports of sexual harassment,which is parallel to the reports given in research findings.Therefore, it will be worthwhile to implement a program to combatthis issue. This report will contain statistics on sexual harassmentin the workplace and how this organization is affected similarly. Oneof the major ways our organization is affected is the loss ofproductivity among affected employees. This loss is a fiscaldisadvantage, which greatly affects the growth and profitability ofthis company.

Inorder to prevent and control sexual harassment in the workplace, asolution will be introduced. This solution involves theimplementation of a program, patterned after other sexual harassmentprograms, called Sexual Harassment Awareness for Corporations, SHACfor short. SHAC is a program designed to target sexual harassmentspecifically within corporate companies. This program aims to educateand inform our employees on the characteristics and consequences ofsexual harassment.

Sexualharassment is commonly defined as the act of unwanted sexualadvances, which usually takes the form of words, looks or gestures,that cause offense or distress to the victim (Bullock, p.116). In theworkplace, it is viewed as a form of violence against women, a healthand safety matter, and an issue of human rights. Women are morelikely than men to experience this form of harassment, especially ina male dominated work environment. Recent studies acknowledge sexualharassment as a serious issue, especially in industrializedcountries, where there has been an influx of women into the workforceover the past twenty years.

Thisprevalent form of gender-based sexual exploitation and discriminationhas destructive effects on the victim, their families, co-workers andthe entire workplace (Boland, 32). Victims experiencing sexualharassment suffer from physical, emotional and psychological distressand, therefore, become distracted in their work leading toperformance declines. Coworkers become less productive as they tendto spend work time strategizing on ways to solve the problem. On theother hand, the entire organization, especially the employer, islargely impacted because they end up losing hundreds of millions ofdollars through disrupted productivity (Boland, 32). Although oftendenied, excused, and rationalized, organizations should come up withmeasures that restrict sexual harassment in the workplace.

Source:http://www.fotosearch.com/CSP956/k9563790/

Discussion

Organizationbackground

AlphaFood Company, which was founded in 1980, &nbspis well-known for thefood products manufactured. As a leader in the food manufacturingindustry, Alpha Food Company provides continuous development ofhigh-quality products at reasonable prices. The company has recentlygone through an expansion in which over 60 employees were hired.Currently the company has a staff of 200 employees, of whom 59 arefemale.

Thiscompany offers an open door policy to our employees and any reportsthat have to be made will be done in private and remain confidential.The company has various departments that report to higher management,with female employees distributed among the department. Fromobservation, it is evident that most of these departments aredominated by men, with at least five women in each department.

Methodsof Data Collection

Themajor findings in this survey were obtained by analyzing the numberof sexual harassment report made by employees in the past fiscalyear. Interviews with both female and male employee were alsoconducted from a sample of our employee population. Additionalinformation was collected through questionnaires direct observation.

SexualHarassment Laws and Policy

Accordingto the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC),gender-based sexual harassment within the workplace is unlawful. TheU.S. EEOC also states that whenever the harassment becomes so severeor frequent that it creates a work environment which is hostile oroffensive or when the victim suffers by being fired or demoted, it isillegal and is punishable by law. Even though the victims of sexualharassment are usually women, the law protects both men and women,and also covers incidents in which the harasser and the victim are ofthe same sex, regardless of sexual orientation. The law also protectsthird party individuals who are adversely affected by the actions ofsexual harassment they too have the right to report the act if itaffects his or her working environment. Approximately 15,000 sexualharassment cases are brought to the Equal Employment OpportunityCommission (EEOC) each year.

Afterexamining the prevalence of sexual harassment in Alpha Food Company,it was found that this problem has been persistent because of severalcontributing factors. To begin with, the workplace is very maledominated and, thus, about 85% of female respondent who filled in thequestionnaire mentioned about unwanted sexual conduct from their malecolleagues. According to Haas (9) high levels of sexual harassment ismostly associated with male dominance over women in a workplace.&nbspThis inequality between sexes in the workplace demonstrates whyharassment is prevalent in Alpha Food Company as the women claimedthat the men were the perpetrators. Women working in the company are,thus, subjected to strong pressure to get along or quit mostespecially because they are deprived of support in trying to stopthese forms of harassment.

&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Thesurvey consistently found more women reporting unwanted sexualbehavior at work than men, with only 1 man out of 10 women. Theresearch established that sexual harassment towards women in the foodcompany takes various forms including coercion, sexual favors,flirting, seductive talks, sexists jokes, and displaying nudephotographs. One lady admittedly claimed that she has been sleepingwith her supervisor to receive favors and promotions. She added thatit is hard to receive promotion in that male-dominated environmentwithout giving back something in return. Another respondent claimedthat she was experiencing harassment through flattery, sexuallysuggestive looks, and sexist jokes from several of his malecolleagues. &nbspHowever, she was hesitant to report these cases tothe top management because she feared she would lose her job. Twothirds of the female respondents claimed to have been sexuallycoerced at one point, with threats of being fired and bribes usedagainst them to solicit sexual involvement. These behaviors werefound to predominant, as they varied from making unwelcomed comments,sending sexually explicit material, to unwanted touching. Most ofthese harassed victims feared being taken seriously if they complain.They also feared challenging the position of the harasser making theproblem more prevalent.

Source:http://www.fotosearch.com/CSP990/k10587716/

&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Accordingto Paludi et al. (58) individuals may respond to sexual harassment intwo major way internally or externally. Internal strategiesrepresent the attempts to manage the personal emotions and cognitionsresulting from harassment. Two thirds of the employee experiencingunwanted sexual behaviors chose to deal with their emotions afterexperiencing this harassment. However, this has had negative impacton the employee as most work under fear of their male colleagues,while others have developed feelings of stigmatization, depressionand isolation. &nbspOn the other hand, a third of the harassedemployee used external strategies by reporting to the employee butdid not get any response. One of respondent who reported to themanagement claimed that the complaint channels most often focus onthe masculine model of justice, and most of the time their malecolleagues are justice or punishment. Therefore, the failure of themanagement to address this issue has led to a cumulative series ofescalating harassment in the Company. Shrier (26) expresses theseverity of sexual harassment on financial, emotional, andpsychological impacts in a workplace that does not address thisproblem. Shrier adds that these stereotype views of males and femalesin the work environment continue to serve as a key barrier to womencareer outcome and their well being.

MostCommonly Reported Cases of Sexual Harassment

TheAssociation of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) carried out &nbspasurvey to address the issue of increased report of sexual harassmentin the workplace. The findings were reported based on the study of500 respondents and 92 companies

  • 54% (272) had experienced some form of workplace sexual harassment.

  • 27% of the 272 respondents experienced harassment by their colleague, while 17% were harassed by their superior.

  • 79% of the victims are women 21% were men.

  • 12% had received threats of termination if they did not comply with the requests of the sexual harassers.

Recommendations

Theseresponses from Alpha Food Company are identical to what many femaleemployees undergo in various workplaces. Most harassers will continueas long as they can and unless they quit work or get transferred.However, employees experiencing harassment can quit and seek for analternative employment opportunity in another organization that isnot male dominated. A new work environment with minimal cases ofharassment can help to increase their job performance, jobsatisfaction, and productivity.

Allemployers and managers have an ethical and professionalresponsibility to provide an environment that is free of harassment,respectful of employee, and that which fosters work performance.Therefore, the management of the company should issue policy banningany form of sexual harassment, and should be able to punish or fireemployee acting against Company policy. The management should be ableto depict patterns of victimization and manipulation, as well as,respond immediately to cases of sexual exploitation in the company.

Theelement of masculine gender role is embedded in the society, as wellas, many work environments. Most men do not want to appear weak inthe eyes of women and, thus, they prove themselves by controllingwomen in the workplace. However, this element can be overcome byemphasizing on workplace education and training. According to Carroll(487), education and training plays a major role especially in thecurrent changing society where women are increasingly entering intothe workforce. Education is viewed to help in reducing these problemsas it will help overcome male and female stereotypes.

Implementationof SHAC

SHAC(Sexual Harassment Awareness for Corporations) is a program that ourhuman resources department has created, patterned after the SexualHarassment Prevention and Response Training for Municipal Supervisors(SHPRT). SHPRT begins its program by introducing several trainingobjectives: At the end of &nbspthis training, municipal supervisorsshould understand

  • What sexual harassment is

  • That sexual harassment is against the law

  • Municipal responsibilities and liabilities in regard to sexual harassment

  • Supervisor responsibilities for preventing and responding to sexual harassment

  • Remedies available for victims of sexual harassment (Reedy 2)

Aswe hope to teach specific definitions of sexual harassment,prevention, solutions, and legal consequences, SHAC’s program willhave very similar training objectives. Also similar to SHPRT, SHACwill provide statistics about the number of sexual harassmentcomplaints filed with the Federal Equal Employment OpportunityCommission as well as the monetary benefits paid to sexual harassmentvictims. The purpose of including these statistics is to create asense of urgency by seeing the considerable number of reports made,workers will become more cognizant.

Afterstating the objectives and giving statistics, the materials willprovide an extensive definition of sexual harassment. The materialswill then go on to discussing the two types of sexual harassment—QuidPro Quo and hostile work environment.SHPRT defines Quid Pro Quo as a “latin phrase meaning ‘this forthat.’ Sexual harassment in which failure to submit to harassingbehaviors results in negative employment consequences” and hostilework environment as “sexual harassment behavior which so permeatesthe work space

thatit substantially interferes with work performance and/or creates anintimidating,

hostileor offensive working environment” (Reedy 3).

SHACwill also provide key concepts in understanding sexual harassment.These key concepts are critical in understanding the uncommoncharacteristics of sexual harassment, such as the notion that “thevictim does not have to be the person who was harassed, but could besomeone else who is affected by the offensive conduct” (Reedy 3).After understanding the key concepts, workers are then notified ofthe consequences, namely statutes and federal law prohibiting sexualharassment.

Lastly,the most innovative aspect of SHPRT that SHAC will adopt is thepresentation of several case studies. Providing case studies as apart of the program allows the workers to relate to situations theyhave already experienced. The case studies also provide workers withexamples of sexual harassment that they may not have encounteredbefore, in hopes of teaching them how to handle these specificoccurrences.

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Conclusion

Alphafood Company creates a work environment that continues to encourageharassment and discrimination in the workplace. The manager should beaware that sexual harassment experienced by the company’s employeesfall under specific federal and state laws covering the workplace. Infact, Title VII prohibits any form of discrimination based on sex,religion, race and national origin. Therefore, the organization canbe held accountable for the actions of its employees and for the lackof response to sexual harassment complaints.

WorkCited

Boland,Mary L. SexualHarassment: Your Guide to Legal Action : What You Should Know andWhat You Can Do.Naperville, Ill.: Sphinx Pub., 2008. Print.

Bullock,Susan. Womenand Work.London: Zed, 1994. Print.

Carroll,Janell L. SexualityNow: Embracing Diversity.4th ed. Australia: Wadsworth, 2013. Print

Haas,Stans De. SexualHarassment in a Male Dominated Workplace.S.l.: Eburon Uitgeverij B.V. 2009. Print.

Paludi,Michele Antoinette, Carmen A. Paludi, and Rudy V. Nydegger.UnderstandingWorkplace Violence: A Guide for Managers and Employees.Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2006. Print

Shrier,Diane K. SexualHarassment in the Workplace and Academia: Psychiatric Issues.Washington, DC: American Psychiatric, 2006. Print.