Different industries sometimes manage workplace issues in different ways but when push comes to shove, the hardest lesson learnt is that...
Donald Trump has defended himself after he seemed to make a sexist remark in a recent political electoral debate. He claims that his comment were taken way out of context when he responded to Fox News presenter Megyn Kelly’s ‘ridiculous questions’ with, “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her — wherever”.
The comment has resulted in a whirlwind of twitter insults towards Trump. He has expressed his views on the situation to over 3.5 million twitter followers by bluntly saying he thinks that Kelly is a bimbo. No matter how contextual either of these comments are, Trump has put himself in the firing line.
Bullying, harassment and the degrading of women by somebody of his authority could have a hugely detrimental effect on business culture. Employers can learn from Trump’s mistakes.
By making comments which could be misconstrued as sexist or of such a personal nature can easily tarnish a personal and/or corporate brand and reputation. In addition, the behaviour and persona viewed by employees can impact on their willingness and motivation to perform. It is also against the law.
Under the Fair Work Act 2009, unlawful workplace discrimination occurs when an employer takes adverse action against a person who is an employee or prospective employee because of a personal attribute, such as their sex. The Fair Work Ombudsman investigates such matters and either it or the individual can make a claim to seek a penalty and recourse.
Under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984, it is unlawful to discriminate against people because of their sex and other related matters. It also makes sexual harassment unlawful.
In the case of Richardson v Oracle Corporation of Australia, it was found that Ms Richardson had been subjected to sexual harassment by one of her co-workers. Her employer, Oracle had failed to take all reasonable steps to prevent the harassment and was vicariously liable for that conduct. This resulted in $130,000 being paid in damages and financial loss to Ms Richardson. The case was so significant because the Federal Court dramatically increased the previous benchmark for damages in sexual harassment claims, which was between $10,000 and $20,000.
A person can be subjected to “workplace harassment” by their employer, co-worker or group of co-workers. Harassment can be referred to as any unwelcome and unsolicited behaviour. It is the act of offending, intimidating, humiliating or threatening another person and is deemed harassment when a reasonable person would consider it to be so.
How do employers prevent harassment?
Employers who would like to implement a bullying and harassment policy to protect their workplace and employees, contact Employsure today on 1300 651 415.