Sexual harrassment in the workplace - Article Example

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Such behavior creates a hostile work environment for the harassed colleague. In essence, it violates the workmate’s right to proper…
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Sexual harrassment in the workplace
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Sexual Harassment at the Workplace Sexual harassment is presented when a person makes comments or actions of a sexual nature to a colleague that the colleague has not consented. Such behavior creates a hostile work environment for the harassed colleague. In essence, it violates the workmate’s right to proper workplace conditions. It is a personal and an economic issue.
The article “Sexual Harassment: Causes, Consequences and Cures” by Truida Prekel discuss the causes of sexual harassment, the ramifications of sexual harassment and the steps victims and employers should take to prevent further sexual harassment. The writer believes that sexual harassment is a costly matter at company level and on a personal level for the victims. Consequences companies can face are in three levels: business consequences, legal consequences and personal consequences. Business consequences are such as low productivity among staff members. Sexual harassment reduces the victims’ morale. Some victims who were valuable to the company end up resigning from their jobs. Companies would also have to deal with unnecessary operational costs. In a hypothetical situation, these costs are identifiable when a senior member of the staff in the company goes on a business trip with a junior staff member. The senior member wants the junior member to satisfy their sexual needs and work related obligations. In that case, the cost incurred in funding the junior member’s trip is a waste of company resources (Prekel, 2010). The writer argues that the consequences also extend to a company’s reputation. For example, the writer postulates a situation whereby somebody discovers that a company has cases of sexual harassment. The person finds out again that the management of that the company is lax in dealing with the harassment cases. The writer states that this revelation would dent the company’s image among clients and the public.
Consequences under legal actions are such as costs the company will have to incur in litigation. By law, employers should account for any cases of sexual harassment under their purview regardless of their knowledge or ignorance of sexual harassment at the workplace. Another possible consequence could be that a harasser who has faced disciplinary action can take advantage of the fact that, the company does not have a clear sexual harassment policy to challenge the action taken against him. This reaction means that the company would have to incur the cost of defending their action in a court of law financially. On a personal level, victims get distressed and eventually resign from their jobs. This is common among female victims. Victims who brought legal action against their employers and then choose to resign from the job have to leave without letters of reference from their former employers. The former employees are reluctant to recommend them because of bad blood. As a result, the victims find difficulty in getting new jobs. Unique consequences could be that the victims end up becoming harassers later. Other victims end up losing trust in their employees, therefore, will question appraisals and promotions, even if they are out of innocent intentions (Prekel, 2010).
Prekel, laments that the effects of sexual harassment is costly. Her tone when discussing the ramifications for victims is sympathetic. Prekel notes that the consequences of sexual harassment are not matters employers can ignore or deal with lackadaisically. She says that the hidden costs of sexual harassment are diverse. She suggests that employers should deal with cases of sexual harassment at the earliest opportunity. Prekel sees sexual harassment as a vice that both victims and employers should be concerned with eradicating to improve the workplace. On harassers, Prekel’s opinions are professional. Her insistence is that they should face formal disciplinary action and seek counseling (Prekel, 2010).
Prekel, T. (2010). Sexual Harassment at the Workplace: Causes, Consequences and Cures.
Western Cape Government .Retrieved on 16 March 2012, from:
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