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Sexual harassment in the salesforce - a bigger issue than people realize

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The topic of this article is sexual harassment in the salesforce. Sexual harassment in the salesforce is a much bigger issue than most people realize. You might think that sexual harassment is a problem of the 50s, and went out in the 80s, but the truth is much different. Take this into consideration: there was an over 50 percent increase in the number of sexual harassment claims filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (otherwise known as the EEOC) between the years of 1991 and 1999 alone. In the past ten years, the average amount of money that a jury has awarded victims of sexual harassment is $250,000. And who pays this money? Generally, the employer is the one who has to pay, because employers are held liable for any sexual harassment that takes place in their business or organization. Now, this doesn't mean, I think that sexual harassment is actually on the rise, but that more and more people are getting fed up with hostile work environments and inappropriate behavior, and they are finally doing something about it.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission specifically defines sexual harassment as "unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other or verbal or physical conduct" that makes someone feel uncomfortable, creates a hostile work environment, or negatively affects an individual in some other way. There are a number of actions and comments that qualify as sexual harassment that you have never imagined as being offensive. Blonde jokes qualify as sexual harassment, since they are derogatory statements that are always directed towards women. While the majority of sexual harassment reports involve a woman being harassed, both sexes are affected by sexual harassment, and the claims of either men or women should not be taken lightly. Claims should especially not be taken lightly because employers can be held liable for any sexual harassment that takes place in their work environment, even if they are not aware of anything going on.

Here is an example of how seriously governments are taking the widespread problem of sexual harassment in the workplace and in the salesforce. In 2004, made effective in 2005, the state of California passed a law (AB1825) that requires every single company that has 50 or more employees to provide sexual harassment training to every single supervisor. All new supervisors must be trained within six months of the time that they were either hired or promoted. Supervisors then must be retrained every two years.

As an employer or as a manager, it is to your benefit and to the benefit of your employees to take sexual harassment very seriously. The best way to protect yourself and your employees is to have a concrete policy in place that specifically outlines what behavior constitutes sexual harassment. Also have a strict disciplinary policy in effect. Make sure that all of your employees have a copy of the policy, and post it around the office. Don't just give your supervisors training-ensure that all employees receive sexual harassment training. If sexual harassment is reported, take immediate action. Listen to both sides of the story, and ensure that no action is taken against the accused, such as demotion, firing, or other persecution. Take disciplinary action if necessary. Keep complete and accurate records of what goes on in your workplace for the sake of everyone involved or potentially involved. Protecting against sexual harassment in your sales force gives a greater sense of safety to your employees. They will feel better about their work place. It also protects you from possibly incredibly expensive litigation, an action that could bring down your business or deal it a severe blow.

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Posted by DF
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