Have you heard the one about the nurse, the social worker, and the exotic dancer who walked into a bar … ?
But wait, there’s one little twist… in this case, the bar was the plaintiff bar in a courtroom and the punchline was no joke for their employers. To commemorate Valentine’s Day this year, employment Attorney Robin Shea offers a bouquet of sexual harassment cases. She describes the circumstances surrounding all three recent cases and offers morals and lessons for each.
There were 11,364 sexual harassment charges filed with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2011, down from 15,889 in FY1997. Of that number, 16.3% of the charges were filed by males, up from 11.6% in FY1997. You can seem more info on Sexual Harassment Charges – EEOC & FEPAs Combined: FY 1997 – FY 2011
But when romance is in the air, what’s an employer to do? Today’s romance can turn into tomorrow’s harassment. A few years ago, we discussed the pre-emptive strategy of so called Love contracts to limit employer liability for office romance. Mark Toth of ManpowerGroup Employment Blawg just posted results of a reader poll on the issue, finding there is no love for the love contract.
If an employee reports an incident, you need to take it seriously. Employment Law Attorney Jason Shinn of Michigan Employment Law Advisor offers An Employer’s Playbook for Responding to an Allegation of Sexual Harassment.
Prior related posts
Taking the pulse about workplace romance on Valentine’s Day
Cupid at work: office romance
. Supervisors of ESI EAP member organizations have telephone access to our Senior Professionals in Human Resources (SPHRs) who can discuss “best practice” scenarios or assist in researching the best strategies for addressing a myriad of employee dynamics. It’s like having a coach on the team when managers or supervisors face difficult issues. Click to learn more about HR benefits.