In May I wrote “From The Sexual Harassment Frontlines” that: “I have always advised that, along with proper training, a top-down culture of zero tolerance is important. It is a significant key to keeping the workplace free from sexual harassment.”
And last January I posted under my “Top Ten Tips – No Eleven – To Avoid Employment Discrimination Claims” the tip: “Respect and compliance in the workplace comes from the top down – be a good role model and exemplar of fairness and probity.”
And then – early this month – I wrote that “you thought that the ‘trickle down theory’ was about economics. It appears that it also applies to sexual harassment in the workplace. Witness a new Fortune article.” Regarding Roger Ailes’ behavior, one professor was quoted as saying about the Fox workplace that “I’m assuming that this has trickled down.”
Top-down Culture Of Zero Tolerance: People “Follow The Leader”
Now comes news of a settlement – for $200,000! — of an EEOC case against a Baltimore restaurant whose owner allegedly sexually assaulted a female employee.
The more significant news for the purposes of this post is that not only did the owner commit assault – so did “others at the restaurant.”
The harassment did not stop. She was forced to quit.
The EEOC press release noted that “The restaurant owner also engaged in unwelcome sexual touching of other female employees and made sexually offensive comments, including requests for sexual favors, to female employees … The restaurant suspended and later refused to increase the work hours of [plaintiff] in retaliation for her rejection of his sexual advances and filing a charge of discrimination.”
Takeaway: I remind you of a couple of my previous tips, nicely ensconced at the top of this post: Along with proper training, a top-down culture of zero tolerance is important. Respect and compliance in the workplace comes from the top down – be a good role model and exemplar of fairness and probity. It is a significant key to keeping the workplace free from sexual harassment.