This past week, CBS did not pay ousted CEO Les Moonves a $120 million severance pay after an investigation of sexual harassment. The CBS Corporation said that Moonves misled the company about multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and more. As a result, the company said Mr. Moonves would not receive his $120 million exit payout.
I get contacted by people on how they should deal with sexual harassment in the workplace. Sometimes, the hardest thing for an employee is to stand up for their selves. For employers, it takes time and energy to deal with sexual harassment discrimination in the workplace. When both sides work together, incidents can be addressed, and loyalty built between the employees and employers.
In my article, Why People Are Fired From Their Companies, I shared that the lady who was being sexually harassed in her workplace by an aggressive male was fired, instead of the man. Perhaps the company leadership saw a litigation building in front of their eyes. This company was more interested in protecting themselves, instead of being ethical and performing an investigation on the matter.
Sexual harassment is in greater public scrutiny these days. It harms men and women. If we are to make a cultural change, we must support one another.
I know how sexual abuse affected me on a deep level after experiencing it as a child. The insecurity lingers until you get help, it can penetrate its ugly head into years of your life, making you feel worthless or not able to trust other people.
I got the help I needed and I “own” my story, instead of my story “owning” me. For some people, they may not feel like they can be helped. It’s amazing how many times I have heard that line from people who were abused. Gaining personal power does take resiliency and having the right tools to cope with negative experiences.
If you are like me—I am happy to hear about people being exposed for sexual harassment on the news and social media. It can bring more than awareness; it brings accountability and education for those who need support. So—bring on more stories of sexual harassment where people are being held accountable for their bad behavior. What can employees and employers learn from this latest sexual harassment incident in the news? Plenty!
Employees can be proactive by doing the following:
- Document all incidences of sexual harassment. The burden of proof is to be able to provide evidence.
- Report it to their HR Department or the management if there is no HR personnel in the company. I share why it’s important to go to the HR Department.
- Visit the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEOC) website at EEOC.gov for guidance on sexual harassment discrimination reporting.
- Contact the EEOC for a state-level agency that may be able to support employees. In some cases, it may provide faster results. EEOC.gov
Employers can be proactive by doing the following:
- Ensure sexual harassment training is accomplished for all their employees.
- An employee can always secure an attorney for guidance on them being sexually harassed. Be proactive, not reactive!
- Training is best when it’s in residence versus online Employees and Employers can engage with others and ask questions.
- Document all training and discrimination matters. Ensure that all supervisors are trained and comply with sexual harassment discrimination mandates.
With a cultural change and mindset, we can all reduce sexual harassment in the workplace and provide safer and more dignified places to work. Check out more of my articles on healthy and safe work environments.
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