Thursday, January 15, 2009

Blatchford: Harassment Not a Problem

The headline should have warned me away: Watchdogs of sexual harassment as eager to bite as they ever were. Ted Byfield called and wants his animus back. It out Wentes Wente, pray you avoid it. (Obscure Shakespeare reference.)

Only Blatchford could start a column with:

Perhaps Mr. Brazeau will be shown to be a sexist pig, as well as the regular sort. And there's no question that, given the sexual abuse chronic in some native communities, it is a complaint to which aboriginal organizations should be particularly sensitive.

And finish with:

But sexual harassment, particularly when it involves merely words, jokes or injured feelings, is much less worthy of our attention.

Well, unworthy of Blatchford's attention maybe. Those of who own or run businesses and organizations know that sexual harassment has an additional often unconsidered layer that is primarily economic. If you don't have a sexual harassment policy that employees and contractors explicitly assent to then you are asking for trouble. Even without lawsuits when an organization is infected with lax attitudes to harassment, even of a minor nature, they become dysfunctional and horrible places to work. This usually means a loss of income or respect. They become places good people flee and losers thrive. If you are sued because of harassment incidents you may find yourself shutting down your business and putting everyone out of work.

Harassment does matter. There is no minor harassment in the work place. Blatchford is wrong. Please recommend this post

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