The ease of online conversations could be increasing media attention on sexual harassment. Employees in Tennessee and elsewhere have experienced this mistreatment for decades, but they often had to deal with the issue in isolation. One workplace consultant said that the internet has connected victims and allowed them to draw attention to the problem.
Many companies in Tennessee mean well when they develop sexual harassment policies, but enforcement makes the difference in the lives of employees. An attorney and university instructor said that managers must take responsibility for ensuring that employees follow the rules.
The news in Tennessee and around the country has been filled with reports of powerful figures who have allegedly engaged in sexual harassment. These reports beg the question of how prevalent sexual harassment in the workplace truly is. Regardless of how frequently it might occur, it is against federal law.
Tennessee residents may have heard about stories of sexual harassment in the news recently. According to Speaker Paul Ryan, all members of the House will undergo anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training. Staff members of those representatives also will receive this training. The move comes after the Senate approved a measure requiring all that senators as well as their staff and interns undergo training to prevent sexual harassment.
Tennessee employers should be ready to handle any allegations of sexual harassment within their organizations. Failure to do so could have an impact on both a brand's image and its ability to make money. In addition to losing customers, it could lose investors as well as the chance at hiring quality people.
Tennessee might feel a long way from the rising tide of sexual harassment accusations among Hollywood celebrities against their colleagues, but the problem permeates numerous workplaces. The social media hashtag #MeToo produced over a million accounts of sexual harassment and assault worldwide in less than one week. The stories of mostly private individuals revealed the extent of the bad behavior in all corners of society. With the problem in the public eye, more people might file complaints at work, and employers have legal obligations to investigate these allegations.
When Tennessee workers are harassed, their employers are supposed to make an effort to resolve the problem. However, it is possible that a human resources representative may try to pretend like a conversation with the employee never happened. While employees may believe that the HR department is there to help them, they may be neutral parties at best. In some cases, they may be on the employer's side.
Sexual harassment at work may be a problem for employers in Tennessee and throughout the country. While most people acknowledge that it exists, men may have a hard time engaging their female counterparts in a discussion about the issue. However, it is important that men and others who witness or hear about sexual harassment to talk about it. Many victims and witnesses fail to report such behavior out of fear that it could cause additional problems.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 establishes sexual harassment as a form of workplace discrimination. It applies to companies in Tennessee and around the country with at least 15 employees. Title VII makes it illegal for employers to discriminate based on race, color, national origin, sex or religion.
Workers in Tennessee and around the country are protected from workplace discrimination based on their race, religion, gender or national origin by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. When evidence of unfair treatment is discovered by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, employees are sent a letter by the agency giving them the right to sue their employers.