To tolerate harassment is to condone it

I believe harassment is in the eye of the beholder, and those folks who, even good naturedly, joke with a colleague need to know when to back off and cease and desist. It is management's responsibility to set a standard— Ed Mayer There may be gray areas that still get debated, but the example cited is a slam dunk.
By Staff May 13, 2002
  • The Human Side of Engineering story pertaining to offensive behavior missed the mark, in my opinion. Certain types of activities and behavior have no place either at work or at company functions away from work. I am no “prude,” but if an employee is being nagged, picked on, or joked with and finds that treatment objectionable, management has a responsibility to fix it.

    • I believe harassment is in the eye of the beholder, and those folks who, even good naturedly, joke with a colleague need to know when to back off and cease and desist. It is management’s responsibility to set a standard — Ed Mayer

    • Strippers at company-sponsored picnics and sexually-suggestive skits at company parties are clearly outside acceptable behavior. I’d venture to say it has been, in my experience, for a long time. Asking an employee if she would opt for a transfer is approval and official condoning of inappropriate, offensive and harassing behavior.

      • There may be gray areas that still get debated, but the example cited is a slam dunk. The “good ol’ boys” in the shop need to enter the 21st century. Gone are the days of tolerating harrassment, abuse, threats and the violence they can often produce. The “shop talk” of years ago has no place in American business. Tolerating this kind of behavior as acceptable not only risks legal action but episodes of workplace violence that indicate it can have disastrous results.

        Will confronting an institutionalized system of offensive behavior with the “good ol’ boys” be tough? You bet! Is it warranted? No, more than that. It’s absolutely necessary. — Dave Drzewiecki

Want this article on your website? Click here to see how ContentStream® can make that happen.