Each day this week I am blogging about one of the 5 latest workplace trends impacting harassment claims. We’ve covered retaliation, Web 2.0, religious harassment and contingent workers. Last on the list: male-on-male harassment.
Trend #5: Male-on-Male Harassment
According to the EEOC, the number of sexual harassment claims filed by men has doubled between 1990 and 2009. The most common claims filed are by male victims that have been exposed to derogatory and offensive behavior by other males. The claims cited make the break room sound like a locker room – using power plays to demean and embarrass men through sexual horseplay.
With the stereotype of men being “tough,” many people think nothing of this kind of inappropriate behavior. But as more men feel empowered to protect themselves from sexual harassment, employers can expect a subsequent rise in male-on-male sexual harassment claims.
Managing the Risk of Male-on-Male Harassment
The same way you wouldn’t ignore a woman’s sexual harassment claim, you just can’t ignore a man’s. This is another area where the rules aren’t obvious. Most employees know “come-on-baby-you-know-you-want-it” harassment is inappropriate. Male break room antics often fall into the gray area of harassment.
To get through to employees on an issue many see as a joke, you need sophisticated sexual harassment training. The training should address issues of gender norming – what it means and how to avoid it – and be intelligent enough to tackle the tough issues and present them in a thought-provoking, impactful manner.
That’s it for my week long discussion of the top 5 harassment training trends.
Thanks everyone, and have a great weekend!