There Are Good Reasons to Adopt Inclusive Policies in the #MeToo Era
One of the most prominent issues that has gained momentum in the workplace includes the topic of sexual harassment through the #MeToo movement. As companies and small business owners work towards implementing effective policies to prevent harassment, American Labor Services would like to highlight a few strategies to make workplaces more welcoming.
In order to understand the need for certain policies, it is important to have a broader understanding of what could be considered sexual harassment. Any actions, quips, or subtle gestures with sexual innuendo that make employees feel uncomfortable could be considered sexual harassment, according to Tiffany Connors, the Internal Operations Manager at American Labor Services.
“Regardless of whatever relationship you have with someone professionally, managers should be conscious about miscommunication,” Connors said. “Besides the legal issues that could ensue, workers could feel awful when leaving work and, in turn, they could find it difficult to remain focused on the job.”
Examples that could be construed as instances of sexual harassment include staff making sexually demeaning remarks about a customer; an employee making any physical contact that makes other employees feel uncomfortable; and employees making sexual jokes, sexist comments, or gender-based demeaning remarks.
“Employers can take affirmative actions to make sure that all employees feel comfortable at their job. These jobs are employees’ livelihoods, and having an uncomfortable workplace could make them feel like they are being forced to leave, which could jeopardize their family’s finances,” said Ben Kaplan, President of American Labor Services. “Workplace policies could prevent that scenario from ever unfolding.”
The first-priority businesses should focus on is defining what constitutes as sexual harassment, Connors said. She added that a company’s stance should broadly focus on not tolerating sexual harassment of any kind. Companies should also, more specifically, consider:
- Outlining a procedure for complaints
- Creating a process to investigate those complaints
- Broadly develop and share the consequences of breaking company policies
As companies and small businesses work to address this issue in the workplace, it is important to recognize that #MeToo will continue to present new challenges. American Labor Services works with employees and employers to establish a mutually beneficial relationship. As your preferred staffing agency, we are committed to providing exceptional professional and administrative services. If you have any staffing-related questions or would like to work with our team of skilled professionals, call our toll-free number at 1-844-967-5257.