Summary of The Sexual Harassment Handbook

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Employers are increasingly aware that sexual harassment is a problem and that they may be in for trouble if an incident happens in their workplace. However, they still struggle to understand exactly what it is and how to prevent it. In this useful manual, attorney Linda Gordon Howard explains U.S. law in plain language and provides real-life examples of sexual harassment. She points out that sexual harassment affects more than the actor or the target; it can create mistrust and poison the entire workplace atmosphere. She provides advice about investigating complaints, taking action and creating policies. getAbstract recommends this book to human resource managers and supervisors who wish to create workplaces that comply with the law and remain free of hostility.

About the Author

Linda Gordon Howard is an attorney, consultant and trainer with expertise in legal and management practices related to sexual harassment.



How Sexual Harassment Became an Issue

The workplace is a nonthreatening environment where people can get to know each other. Romance is nothing to worry about and is quite different from sexual harassment. Romantic relationships are consensual, and the people involved share similar feelings. In contrast, sexual harassment is nonconsensual and unwelcome. It usually occurs in four kinds of situations:

  1. One person does not want a relationship, but fears that if he or she doesn’t obey a direct supervisor the consequences will be dire.
  2. A harasser offends a co-worker with comments or actions.
  3. Co-workers end a romantic relationship, and one wants to reunite while the other doesn’t.
  4. A group harasses an individual they dislike.

Although sexual harassment has been around forever, changes in law and culture, especially women’s mass entry into the workforce during the last half of the 20th century, have changed society’s view of it. Public awareness of the problem has increased due to high-profile incidents, such as the confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, during ...

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