Yesterday, former Fox News TV host, Gretchen Carlson, filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Roger Ailes, the CEO of Fox News. The allegations in the lawsuit serve as a roadmap of the kinds of behavior to avoid in the workplace. Here are five lessons about what not to do in the workplace that can be learned from the case:
- Don’t tell subordinate employees that “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago” and that “sometimes problems are easier to solve” that way.
- When an employee reports sexual harassment, don’t call her a “man hater” and say that she needs to learn to “get along with the boys.”
- Don’t ask a female (or male) employee to turn around so that you can ogle her posterior.
- Don’t comment that certain outfits enhance an employee’s figure and urge her to wear those outfits every day.
- Don’t boast to others that you always stay seated when a woman walks over so that she has to “bend over” to say hello.
Takeaway: Whether these allegations are true are not, they are good examples of the kinds of behavior that employers, managers, and employees should avoid in the workplace to reduce the risk of liability.