McCann, Nancy Dodd; McGinn, Thomas A.
January 1992
Achieving Total Quality Management - Business Book Summaries;1992, Vol. 1 Issue 1, p1
Book Summary
Book summary
Prior to 1963, employees were not protected against discrimination under common law. Since 1963, however, the United States legislature has provided equal opportunity to individuals regardless of personal beliefs or accidents of nature. During 1991 some significant changes occurred: The EEOC made sexual harassment claims separate from job discrimination claims, and moved to speed up claim processing. The 1991 Civil Rights Bill was passed, making it easier to file and win sex discrimination suits against employers who intentionally discriminate. Sexual harassment as part of sex discrimination can be viewed as intentional and is now subject to punitive damage awards.Unfortunately, both employers and employees rarely understand the full spectrum of behavior that constitutes harassment, narrowly defining it as quid pro quo. As a result, management is unaware of what really constitutes a hostile work environment and its negative impact on people, productivity, and profits. GE Fanuc Automation North America, Inc. trains employees to prevent harassment in their environment and provides a company brochure depicting a spectrum of sexually harassing behavior patterns, which include:• Visual-ogling, staring, posters, magazines, and fliers.• Verbal-unwanted requests for dates, personal questions, lewd comments, dirty/sexual jokes, and whistling.• Written-love poems, love letters, cards, and obscene poems (all unwanted).• Touching-violating space, patting, grabbing, pinching, caressing, and kissing.• Power-using position to request dates, sex, etc.• Threats-quid pro quo demands.• Force-rape and physical assault.While curbing negative behaviors, women must also employ some positive behaviors: They must tell men when their behavior is unacceptable. Unless they tell their harassers and their managements that the attention is unwelcome, managements, agencies, and courts cannot respond. In sum, both genders must rethink how they interact, and new rules must emerge to facilitate a different process of relationship building. But, before rules are implemented, a new workplace must first be designed.


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