Sexual Assault in the Workplace

Sexual assault is the act of forcing a person to engage in or a suggestive behavior involving the breasts, the genitals ranging from touching or grabbing over clothes to even to the extreme intimate act of sex. All the levels of the management need to acknowledge that sexual harassment is not only of basic decency and the right of women and men to work in an organization where their rights are recognized and they are treated with respect. It is also a very important issue as the act causes job turnover, sick leave and drop in an employee’s productivity. Sexual harassment in the work place is expensive, it consumes time and causes tension in the work place and may result to job dissatisfaction. It is also bad for business, for public services and bad for many managers who want to have their work done (Kaufman, 2006).

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Unfortunately many managers still go along with the harassment. The truth is that where there is ongoing harassment of women (or any other group) at least some managers are aware of the problem. In cases where the manager is not directly involved with the violence, they are aware of the problem but share the biases of those committing the harassment. The managers sympathize not with the harassed but those committing the breach of dignity and appropriate workplace behavior. Perhaps the greatest reason for management being inactive is that most of the top management are not well trained on the matter, if they were well trained they could possibly handle the matter effectively. It is less expensive to do the training other than deal with the sexual harassment aftermath (Jensen, 2010).

It is in most cases in the real world of office and factory, most sexual harassment issues are not in black and white but in shades of grey; Examples, is it okay to flirt? To complement someone’s appearance? To exchange a hug? To tell a joke with mild sexual context? The answer in this case is, it depends. It depends on the circumstances or on the relationship of the people and it differs from one organization to another. Most of it depends on how the person affected feels even if it is subject to the standard of what it should be termed as a reasonable response to certain circumstances (Rice, 2004).

Sexual harassments in most cases are claims that are associated with sexual overturns, unwelcoming touch or outright assaults on an employee. In our case study the two employees; the male and the female employees seem to have had a mild affair in the workplace. The fact that they would go out together for cocktail drinks and at times hug and kissed could have sent the wrong information to the male employee. Problem statement in this case is the two colleagues brought in personal relations in the work place, although most of the organizations do not allow that. The fact the male worker touched her breasts that were offensive and to make it worse he turned off the light.

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Statements of fact

  • Both of the employees acted against the ethics of the organization which restricts employees to carry on personal affairs in the work place
  • The director should not have dismissed the case
  • There was an evidence because the male colleague touched her breast without her consent
  • The case should have been handled by an expertise
  • Dropping of the case by the security director might encourage such acts in the organization

Solutions to the case

  • Adopt a clear policy on sexual harassment
  • Educate all employees on the various forms of sexual harassment
  • Educate the employees on the harms that could result if employees had a personal relationship in the work place
  • Have an organized procedure to quickly and effectively deal with similar complaints and ensure that every employee in the organization knows about it
  • Follow not only the sexual harassment policy but also on the disciplinary policy
  • Top management should set an example to the employees. The best policy would be useless if the management lets employees see through its actions that it does not take the sexual harassment problem seriously or if else the management is part of the problem (Whitney, 2012).

Statement of alternative solution

1. Not to allow employees to work at night especially if the organization only works during the day

Positive consequences

  • These will reduce the number of sexual harassment
  • If the colleague has any personal intentions he/she will not find any opportunity

Negative consequences

  • The work output could go down especially if a person wanted to work overtime

2. The management should put in place dress code ethics

Positive consequences

  • The female colleagues will not provoke a male colleague
  • The female workers will not send the wrong information unintentionally
  • The working environment will be respected because everybody is in dressed  professionally

Negative consequences

  • Employees could find it very restrictive and could concentrate most on their appearance rather than on their job.
  • Many young and energetic young workers may find it outdated especially if the codes are very restricting hence they might not prefer to work in such an organization

3. Training of the management and director of security on how to solve such an issue

Positive consequences

  • It will improve how such an issues is solved in case it occurs
  • Will be able to distinguish different types of sexual assault

Negative consequences

  • It could be very expensive to do the training.

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