The #MeToo movement is encouraging companies to examine their workplace environment even further as of today, to establish a healthier culture that administers respect to all workers with a zero tolerance policy that focuses on sexual harassment and other types of discrimination. Training programs for supervisors and employees alike will likely be put in place to educate workers on harassment, the consequences of it, and steps to take if you experience it or witness it.
The program is important for eliminating this crime altogether but it is also crucial for people to understand the weight of harassment. Most people do not define harassment the same way which is why the #MeToo movement has given a thorough break down of what constitutes unwelcomed behavior. Verbal, written or physical contact that is degrading or hostile because of the victim’s race, religion, sex, age, disability or status is all forms of harassment. Sexual harassment by the #MeToo movement is defined as unwelcomed sexual advances or comments. This again includes verbal, written or physical contact. Commenting on co-worker’s appearance, like what they’re wearing or a hairstyle could also be forms of sexual harassment.
If an employee feels as though he or she is being harassed or if a co-worker has made them feel like a line has been crossed, it is important that person files a complaint with their human resources department.
It is crucial for a representative of the said company in which a harassment complaint has been filed to further investigate the case. There are proper procedures that must be followed to prove whether the complaint is either true or false. These steps protect the alleged harasser, supervisor and employee from liability.
- An interview with the employee who filed the complaint. It should be said that every complaint made must not be taken lightly.
- Gather facts rather than judgements.
- Retrieve answers. Who? When? Where? Why? How?
- Investigate the case
A written statement with detailed allegations by the accuser is an important follow up step as well. This prevents possible later exaggerations and fabrications.
If an employee feels that the company they work for did not do their best to protect them, even if it was before the complaint was filed, they have the right to file a lawsuit against their place of work.