Corporate Social Responsibility
Read this section, paying particular attention to the sections on communities, financial contributions, volunteerism, and supporting local causes to learn more about the positive impact of businesses.
Freedom from Sexual Harassment
What is sexual harassment? The law is quite precise:
- Sexual harassment occurs when an employee makes "unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature" to another employee who doesn't welcome the advances.
- It's also sexual harassment when "submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment".
To prevent sexual harassment – or at least minimize its likelihood – a company should adopt a formal anti-harassment policy describing prohibited conduct, asserting its objections to the behavior, and detailing penalties for violating the policy. Employers also have an obligation to investigate harassment complaints. Failure to enforce anti-harassment policies can be very costly. In 1998, for example, Mitsubishi paid $34 million to more than three hundred fifty female employees of its Normal, Illinois, plant to settle a sexual harassment case supported by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC reprimanded the company for permitting an atmosphere of verbal and physical abuse against women, charging that female workers had been subjected to various forms of harassment, ranging from exposure to obscene graffiti and vulgar jokes to fondling and groping.