Sexual harassment is a complex phenomenon that encompasses
behaviours extending from unwanted flirtatious behaviour
to assault. It involves men and women, their perceptions
and their behaviour, as well as the social and cultural
norms of society. Adding to its complexity, the reported
incidence is based on how sexual harassment is defined
- depending on the definition, surveys have estimated
that 25 to 90 percent of working women have been victimized
and, although the law protects both men and women from
such behaviour, 90 to 95 percent of all reported incidents
involve female complainants.
SHOULD ORGANIZATIONS BE CONCERNED ABOUT SEXUAL HARASSMENT?
In the 1987 Supreme Court of Canada case Robichaud v.
The Queen, the decision was given that employers are
potentially liable for the actions of their employees
and that "only an employer can remedy undesirable
effects; only an employer can provide the most important
remedy - a healthy work environment".
With this decision, the responsibility of responding
to sexual harassment in a proactive manner was given
to organizations. Given this, as well as the potential
for costly litigation, negative public reaction to sexual
harassment charges, and significant economic court decisions,
it is not surprising that sexual harassment is being
viewed by organizations as an issue that needs to be
addressed quickly and effectively.
Continuing attention on sexual harassment complaints
have forced organizations to take a serious look at
their efforts to address the issue of how to manage
complaints of power and gender-bias in the workplace.
Questions being asked include:
an organization does have a sexual harassment policy,
is it effective?
the policy clearly state a definition of sexual harassment?
it reflect adequate and clear procedures for dealing
resolution recommendations outlined?
procedures in place for disseminating pertinent information
OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Sexual harassment is costly to an employer in many ways:
costs, e.g. lawyer fees, backpay or other economic awards
of executive time
number of law suits
spiral of low morale, reduced productivity, and decreased
yearly cost to Canadian industry, directly attributed
to sexual harassment, is over $189 million
Sexual harassment is costly to the employee:
and emotional stress
IT IS IN
AN ORGANIZATION'S BEST INTERESTS TO HAVE AN EFFECTIVE
POLICY AND A FULLY INFORMED WORKFORCE!!
Let us aid you in achieving a healthy work environment.
about Sexual Harassment
harassment only occurs to females and the perpetrator
is always their male boss.
sexual harassment occurs predominantly to females, males
do encounter the phenomenon as well.
sexual harassment can occur between peers, by customers
or clients, or by union
harassment only happens to young, beautiful women.
harassment is not about sex, it is about power.
harassment is the complainant's fault - if only they
had acted differently, or had a sense of humor, etc.
thinking blames the victim - myths range from the idea
that women 'ask for it' by dressing
to women initiating sexual liaisons in order to 'get
ahead'. These myths are not supported in a court
The firm of Fong Ailon Canniff is a group of independent
Registered Psychologists offering a wide range of professional
counseling and assessment services.
assessments including clinical interviews, collateral
interviews and standardized
intervention provided on-site (critical incident stress
awareness – lectures, seminars, workshops, casual
procedures – supervisory / human resources training
of new or revised sexual harassment policies
on or provision of investigations