At all times, a compliant organization will provide the following to all/each staff/employee:
A non-hostile work environment
An anonymous and secure system for staff to report sexual harassment/ethical concerns
Quick and responsive, unbiased, comprehensive & objective investigation into all claims
A safe and courteous atmosphere for our patient population and for our staff
An environment void of preferential treatment or discrimination based on gender
An environment void of preferential treatment
Interim & annual training sessions conducted by the ethics committee for each employee to assess knowledge and judgement in possible sexual harassment situations.
A human resources staff with specialists in sexual harassment emotional support
Security personnel with investigative training in sexual harassment procedure
An in-house syndicate dedicated to preventing further cases of sexual harassment
As an organization, each staff member, and each employee must read, comprehend, and acknowledge the following ethical behavioural model for expected behaviour while at the workplace. This is to mean, on duty or off duty, while on the premises.
The Code of Ethics is similar to a Code of Conduct such that the ethics provide the guiding principle to the tenets listed in a Code of Conduct. Conduct is expected to be becoming of a responsible member of society that is acting in a role critical to successful organizational outcomes.
Amiable behaviour is encouraged and the corporate body does understand the nature of sexual attraction and interaction at the workplace. The expected level of behaviour regarding personal conversation is not expected to go beyond what is considered to be 'reasonable terms of expression' when speaking about endearment or attraction.
Organizational members are expected to remember, at all times, professionalism supersedes personal, non-work or family related goals. Romance at the workplace is considered a non-urgent and personal matter. As organizational members are hired to perform a specific duty, task, or responsibility, ethical violations that include sexual harassment, issues of embezzlement, or other acts of a questionable nature will be investigated accordingly.
The Code of Ethics for organizational members is to protect each member's right to a safe and harassment-free work environment. Professionalism is the paramount quality of our member organization and is the guiding quality of character expression we seek from each member.
What to do if being sexually harassed
Sexual harassment is to be avoided. All staff and employees are to adhere to the following ethical code of the organization. Staff will include all administrative personnel with no clinical responsibilities. Employees will include all non-clinician and all non-administrative personnel, and will include all non-critical personnel such as operations and maintenance workers, and ground security.
The following Code of Ethics is expected to be followed by all staff and employees, while on the premises... At ALL TIMES.
Exhibit a professional level of respect for all employees at all times
There is to be no cursing at any organizational member or patient, or derogatory slander
Our organizational members are educated individuals, exemplary communication is expected
Language that is sexually charged is prohibited.
Language that causes a female employee to feel 'cheap' and less than her capable of fulfilling her organizational role and job responsibility is prohibited
Confirmed lewd or insidious comments toward organizational members or patients will be addressed with ZERO-TOLERANCE
Interaction between male and female organizational members is expected to be professional, tasteful, and resulting in positive emotional response and a positive work related outcome
Considerate behaviour and mannerisms are to be used on the floor and on the premises at all times
However, should sexual harassment violations arise, the victim of sexual harassment must make critical decisions regarding the next steps of the reporting process. The human resources or security office are the prime centers to report sexual abuse activity. If the organization has a human resources office and a security office, it is best to file a complaint with each. A written complaint to the direct manager and the union representative is also necessary. Filing complaints internally is necessary prior to including a personal injury attorney to represent further litigation on harassment claims.
Unwelcomed sexual advances may come in multiple forms. Physical touching from areas including the arm and shoulder may advance to the buttocks, or thigh/inner thigh, which may cause alarm and a sexual harassment report. Often times, the male will say the action was warranted as he is attracted to the female and his initial touching was not deemed inappropriate. This excuse is not a rationale for the behaviour exhibited by the male in this example.
Such sexual advances are going to continue until hard and fast action is taken. Indeed, the victim of the attack must be firm about disliking the sexual advances and must also insist on reporting the sexual harassment to the organization. Usually, such action will stop the harassment from continuing and return the work environment to normalcy.
Should the harassment continue however, then a formal complaint is to be filed internally with the employer. The harassment should be tape recorded, if possible. Any evidence of proof concerning the harassment should be gathered or obtained to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is sexual harassment occurring at the work place.
Requests for sexual favors are becoming a common occurrence at the work place and is a very direct and disgusting form of harassment. Sexual favors at the work place is an example of the type of activity that can happen when the power relationship is abused. Mentioned earlier, the power relationship occurs between an authority figure and a subordinate. The subordinate often succumbs to the authority and is likely to yield to sexual advances, which were the situation not work involved, would not yield to the sexual advances and is therefore subject to duress.
Demands for physical sexual favors from a legal perspective is a violation of the employee's right to a non-hostile work environment. Ostensibly, any sexual harassment claim is a violation of the employee's right to a non-hostile work environment. However, the unprofessional nature of an outright request for sexual favors from a legal perspective is an unquestionable violation of one's legal rights and is grounds for a lawsuit.
Overt verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature can be a subversive or an overt manner of sexual harassment. Verbal abuse of a sexual nature often remains unreported as an act of sexual harassment due to the relative dismissive nature of verbal 'cat calls' and other such methods of communication. The method many organizations employ to handle verbal harassment is to incorporate more than two individuals at a time when the abusive party meets with the supposed victim.
The importance of including an additional party to prevent the situation of verbal abuse or physical touching is at times the only way to prevent the sexual abuse from occurring. The presence of another co-worker is often a strong deterrent to ward unprofessional behaviour at the work place and will prevent abuse of workers of a sexual nature.
From a legal perspective, verbal sexual abuse is not less severe than physical sexual abuse however, to prove a case of verbal sexual abuse requires either a witness to the crime or evidence either through video or audio proof that captures the act of abuse in action. In instances of tremendous verbal sexual abuse, using an audio recorder to record the abuse is common. Often, receptionists at construction companies that are facing sexual abuse will capture audio evidence of overt verbal sexual abuse to file a complaint.
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