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Legal Obligations and Prevention Strategies- Ensuring a Harassment-Free Workplace

Legal Obligations and Prevention Strategies- Ensuring a Harassment-Free Workplace

Our organization focuses on building a diverse workforce and ensuring that employees and job applicants are not treated less favorably for any reason. This policy guarantees that all employees are treated with respect and fairness, and that all employees are entitled to a workplace free from discrimination and harassment. Harassment in this policy is defined as any conduct that violates a person’s dignity or creates a hostile, intimidating, offensive, or humiliating environment. Essential aspects to shed light on include gender discrimination, sex discrimination, harassment, and hostile workplace.

Gender discrimination

Gender discrimination will occur when an individual is treated less favorably compared to another person due to their gender. This policy will apply to both part-time and full-time employees and permanent and temporary employees. It will be applied in setting the terms and conditions of employment, recruitment, promotion, selection, flexible work options, professional development, grievances, termination, disciplinary action, and leadership, accountability, and management. In instances where applying the policy conflicts with national laws, the national laws will take precedence. The head of Human Resources will be required to ensure that all human resource policies and procedures support the objective of preventing unlawful or unfair discrimination and promoting equal opportunity for people of all genders. Supervisors and managers will be responsible for setting suitable standards for eliminating gender discrimination and promoting a culture of respect and tolerance. Employees will be required to treat each other with respect and dignity.

Sex discrimination

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employers from treating employees less favorably or differently due to their sex, including sexual orientation, pregnancy, and gender identity (Weiss, 2019). Employers are prohibited from basing their employment decisions on stereotypes about traits and abilities associated with gender. The Equal Pay Act requires employers to give female and male employees equal pay for equal work. This implies that employers are required to pay women and men equally for completing the same task at the same workplace (Boling & Llp, 2013). The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission also requires employers to protect employees from being harassed or punished at work because the employee or someone associated with them, such as a close friend or relative, complains about sex discrimination.

Our organization prohibits any form of sexual discrimination and focuses on ensuring that there is an equal employment opportunity for people of all genders. In adherence to the Human Rights Code, our organization prohibits sex discrimination in the recruitment process, in assigning tasks to employees, and in the interactions among employees. Every employee has the right to file a complaint against sex discrimination. This policy shall not set any limitations in pursuing legal resources that may be available to them, including filing a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal to initiate a grievance based on the collective agreement policy. All employees are required to report any incidents of sex discrimination regardless of the rank of the accused person. A person who is in possession of information on sex discrimination contrary to this policy and who has the authority to discipline the person violating the policy or prevent the sex discrimination conduct and fails to exercise that authority will be held accountable and may be found to be in violation of the policy. Supervisors will be in charge of receiving sex discrimination complaints, assisting the complainant in getting the help they need, and reporting the matter to the relevant authority. Human resource managers will be required to maintain a balance in hiring people of different genders. The recommended ratio is that two-thirds of the workforce in our organization should consist of women.

Harassment

The Department of Labor prohibits harassment of anyone or by anyone in the workplace. It incorporates the prohibition of quid pro harassment that occurs when the treatment or decisions in the workplace are based on submission to unwelcome behavior, especially of a sexual nature; in addition to offensive conduct based on one or more of the protected groups such as disabled people and ethnic minorities. This conduct is so pervasive to the extent of creating a hostile work environment or when it causes an adverse employment decision such as employee firing or demotion (U.S Department of Labor, 2021).

Our organization prohibits harassment based on any protected attribute. Harassment includes any written, verbal, or physical conduct demonstrating hostility towards a person due to their color, race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, expression or gender identity, and other characteristics protected by law. Harassment will also include any physical, written, or verbal conduct aimed at creating an offensive or hostile work environment that is aimed at unreasonably interfering with a person’s work performance and has a negative impact on a person’s employment opportunities.

Different guidelines will be considered when determining whether this policy has been violated or not. The first guideline provides that verbal harassment includes offensive or unwelcome comments regarding a person’s color, race, national origin, sex, age, pregnancy, sexual orientation, disability, appearance, gender expression or identity, marital status, and negative stereotyping. The second guideline provides that non-verbal harassment includes displaying, distributing, or discussing any graphic or written material, ridiculing, insulting, denigrating, belittling, or showing aversion, hostility, or disrespect toward a group or individual. This might be due to their national origin, religion, race, color, sexual orientation, gender, appearance, pregnancy, sexual identity, marital status, disability, or other protected status.

Our organization also prohibits any form of bullying. Bullying will be defined based on the definition provided under section 789FD of the Fair Work Amendment Act 2013. The Act defines bullying as when a group of people or a person repeatedly behaves unreasonably towards employees, and that behavior creates a risk to safety and health (Boling et al., 2020). Bullying will include various behaviors such as psychological harassment, screaming, yelling or using offensive language, intimidation, isolating or excluding employees. This is in addition to assigning employees impossible jobs, assigning employees meaningless tasks that are not related to the job, and undermining the performance of employees by deliberately withholding information that is vital in rewarding performance. Moreover, deliberately changing work schedules to inconvenience a specific employee, suppressing of ideas, constant unconstructive criticism overloading an employee with work, or providing insufficient time for the completion of work is a form of bullying.

Hostile workplace

Our organization has zero tolerance for any workplace violence committed against or by employees. Employees are prohibited from engaging in violent conduct or making any threats. The behaviors that are forbidden are; causing physical injury to another person, intentionally damaging the property of another employee or employer property, making threatening comments, and possessing a weapon in the work environment. Further,  acting out in a hostile or aggressive manner creates a reasonable fear of injury to other employees or subjects another employee to emotional distress, and committing acts related to or motivated by domestic violence, or sexual harassment is a form of hostility.

Our organization focuses on creating and maintaining a work environment where employees are treated with respect, decency, and dignity. The organizational environment will be characterized by the absence of intimidation, exploitation, and oppression and the prevalence of mutual trust. Employees will be in violation of this policy if they discriminate against others in the provision of privileges or benefits, and employment opportunities, thus, creating discriminatory work conditions and using discriminatory evaluative standards in employment. Discrimination in the organization is strictly prohibited by different federal, local, and state laws, including the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, the 1964 Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and the 1967 Age Discrimination Act. This policy will therefore comply with the prohibitions outlined in these anti-discriminatory laws. Violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, including termination based on the magnitude of the harm caused. The policy also covers any form of sexual harassment.

Employees are prohibited from sexual harassment of any kind. The primary examples of sexual harassment that will be used as guidelines will be verbal, non-verbal, and physical sexual harassment. Verbal sexual harassment will include suggestive jokes with a sexual inclination, sexual propositions, requests for any form of sexual favor, offensive threats and remarks, and verbal abuse oriented towards a prohibitive type of sexual harassment. Non-verbal sexual harassment will include displaying, distributing, or discussing any graphic or written material, including posters, cartoons, and calendars that are sexually suggestive or demonstrate hostility towards a group or individual because of sex. In addition to insulting or suggestive sounds, staring, leering, whistling, content in letters, obscene gestures, facsimiles, notes, text messages, photos, internet posting, tweets, or other types of communication that is offensive or sexual. Physical sexual harassment includes unwanted and unwelcome physical contact, including tickling, touching, patting, pinching, hugging, brushing up against, kissing, forced sexual intercourse, and fondling.

Conclusion

In conclusion, professional conduct is essential in workplaces. Professional conduct ensures the creation of a comfortable workspace, where employees’ work efficiency is ensured. Various aspects of a workplace can undermine this efficiency, including; gender discrimination, harassment, sex discrimination, and a hostile workplace. Accordingly, an employer must ensure employees are informed of an organization’s mandatory conduct and the consequences of unprofessional conduct.

References

Boling, A. J., Lama, A. D., Dugan, W., Guldberg, C., Hengesbaugh, B., Mignin, R. J., Mohr, V., Murphy, J. M., & Partee, G. (2020). Labor and employment compliance in the United States.

Boling, A. J., & Llp, B. &. (2013). Labor and employment compliance in the United States.

U.S. Department of Labor. (2021). Sex discrimination. U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. https://www.eeoc.gov/youth/sex-discrimination

Weiss, J. T. (2019). Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII. The Encyclopedia of Women and Crime, 1-3. https://doi.org/10.1002/

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Assignment Details

Harassment of any kind has no place in the workplace. If you are an employer subject to federal anti-discrimination laws, you have a legal obligation to provide a work environment that is free from intimidation, insult, or ridicule based on race, color, religion, gender, or national origin. You must also be concerned with preventing harassment because you can sometimes be sued in state courts, depending on your state’s anti-discrimination laws.

Legal Obligations and Prevention Strategies- Ensuring a Harassment-Free Workplace

Legal Obligations and Prevention Strategies- Ensuring a Harassment-Free Workplace

Therefore, take steps to prevent and deal with sexual and other types of harassment in your workplace. As an employer, you may be held liable for your own acts of harassment that affect employees in the workplace, as well as the acts of your managers, and employees, and even harassment by customers, suppliers, and others who regularly do business with you.

Your manager would like your help in developing a training program. As such, he has requested you to evaluate the applicable laws and add a section to the employee handbook. Draft a section for the employee handbook (minimum of 5 pages) that addresses the following:

Gender discrimination
Sex discrimination
Harassment
Hostile workplace
Submitting your assignment in APA format means, at a minimum, you will need the following:

Title page: Remember the running head. The title should be in all capitals.
Length: 5 pages minimum and you must include an introduction and a conclusion.
Abstract: This is a summary of your paper, not an introduction. Begin writing in the third person.
Body: This begins on the page following the title page and abstract page and must be double-spaced (be careful not to triple- or quadruple-space between paragraphs). The typeface should be 12-pt. Times Roman or 12-pt. Courier in regular black type. Do not use color, bold type, or italics, except as required for APA-level headings and references. The deliverable length of the body of your paper for this assignment is 5 pages. In-body academic citations to support your decisions and analysis are required. A variety of academic sources is encouraged.
Reference page: References that align with your in-body academic sources are listed on the final page of your paper. The references must be in APA format using appropriate spacing, hanging indent, italics, and uppercase and lowercase usage as appropriate for the type of resource used. Remember, the Reference page is not a bibliography but a further listing of the abbreviated in-body citations used in the paper. Every referenced item must have a corresponding in-body citation.

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