Sexual Harassment Policies

Maryland’s Disclosing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Act of 2018, which awaits Gov. Larry Hogan’s signature, imposes stricter waiver and disclosure requirements regarding sexual harassment on Maryland employers beginning on October 1, 2018.  The bill was passed by both houses of the Maryland General Assembly and a Governor’s veto is not anticipated.

The bill impacts

“Oh Wow, You Look So Pretty I Can’t Even Concentrate” was the title of a post we wrote on August 9th, subtitled:  “Sexual Banter Or Sexual Harassment?”

See: https://employmentdiscrimination.foxrothschild.com/2014/08/articles/sexual-harassment-1/oh-wow-you-look-so-petty-i-cant-even-concentrate-mere-banter-or-sexual-harassment/

sexual harassment : office sexual harassment Stock Photo

We decided to survey the attitudes towards “sexual banter” and sexual harassment” in different countries, and began with this article from South Africa.  We

Two lawyers who represent employees have responded to our request for comments made in our recent post entitled “Zero Tolerance” And “Broken Windows?”

And for the most part they are not that keen on the idea of a “zero tolerance” policy, for reasons which they describe below.  But they rightly note that the issues raised

We have always preached preventive law, that is, using our knowledge of employment law and HR practices to counsel employers how to prevent claims, charges or lawsuits from ever happening.  It’s far less expensive, time consuming and distracting to spend a little time and money now to comply with the law, than not to do

Is "Zero Tolerance" an ambiguous term, we asked recently?  We did not anticipate the reactions which we received — some were hostile to the very notion of "zero tolerance," some found it lacked due process elements, and others found that it could cause unanticipated problems in the workplace. 

 

Here is a sample of four reader reactions:

 

Bernie Althofer AFAIM, who we quoted in brief yesterday, is a former Harassment Referral Officer in a police service in Australia.  We have been hoping for active feedback and discussion on our positing the applicability of the "Broken Windows Theory" to workplace sexual harassment (if at all), and Bernie was kind enough to giive