The Sliding Scale on Sexual Harassment
January 19, 2007
The workplace is an ever-evolving environment that continues to grow and shift from generation to generation. As corporate culture continues to change, the levels of acceptable conduct also evolve. What was unacceptable conduct in the workplace sixty years ago may be acceptable conduct today.
Changes such as social culture, relationships between employees, or even the economy can alter the work place environment, which in turn alters what a reasonable person considers acceptable conduct. The workplace is a sliding scale of acceptable conduct and is dependent on culture, environment and relationships to determine the balance.
Consider the endearment, “Baby-cakes,” in the workplace environment. The comment may be commonplace in one workplace environment while in another workplace environment it may be considered offensive. Out of context, the comment certainly has a negative innuendo; however, it may not be interpreted that way if a certain employee known for “playful” remarks made the comment to another employee who is not offended by it.
A sexual harassment claim is more than just the sexual comment or conduct – it is also the context and the environment that define it…
You may read more at the link below.
by: Kevin V. Maltby, Esquire
January 8, 2007