Employers across the world are expected to ensure that they adhere to all regulations to ensure that business ethics are followed. The primary reason for this requirement is to ensure that employees are accorded with an ideal working environment where they feel secure. However, we are presently living in a world where these requirements are often flouted, eventually leading to adverse effects on both the victim and the perpetrator. Sexual harassment, in particular, has emerged as an existential plague affecting most contemporary conglomerates. It often entails unsolicited sexual advance that is bound to change the working relationship and performance of individuals in the workplace. Sexual harassment can involve something as mundane as a sexual joke to aggressive acts such as touching an individually inappropriately (Conte, 2000, p. 23). For a long time, it had been assumed that women were the only victims but research into the issue reveals that both genders can be affected equally by this plague. In this essay, I will offer an in-depth discussion of sexual harassment, its impact together with an example of company caught up in this issue.
Sexual harassment has adverse effects in the workplace due to the hostility it breeds. An employee who finds themselves in such a position might be affected emotionally and mentally. There are numerous reports of individuals who had lost their self-esteem overnight when they became victims of this kind of abuse. Many are often traumatized and feel worthless, therefore lowering their morale. Employees who were quite a productive end up lacking the drive required at the workplace, which impacts the said enterprise negatively. Net profits begin to drop, and the organization starts making massive losses due to a workforce that sees no use in providing their labor to an organization that does not guarantee their rights (Boland, 2006, p. 78). Furthermore, absenteeism might develop from this situation, with top employees missing work regularly, or coming late. Economists are in unanimous agreement that sexual harassment creates a situation where employees abscond or feign sickness, just to avoid a hostile work environment. It also presents the victims with financial challenges in cases where they would have to hire an attorney when seeking legal redress. These individuals may ultimately resign from their current position, proving a big blow to companies the company, mainly when they were the most productive members.
Recently, Fidelity Investments was caught up in a sexual harassment when details surfaced about sexual harassment incidences in the mutual-fund giant. The allegations were leveled against Gavin Baker who was known for being an insatiable top stock picker at the firm. It soon emerged that many junior employees had tales that corroborated earlier allegations of Baker violating them at work. The situation had gotten so sorry for one employee who claims that she even contemplated suicide. Gavin Baker went on to deny the claims, but legal proceedings against him were already commencing. Nonetheless, the damage had already been done as the company was put on the spot for not providing the much-needed safety net for their employees. It was for this reason that the company decided to take stern action by eventually firing him as a result of continued public outcry (CNBC, 2015). All this would have been avoided of Fidelity Investments had instituted proper guidelines that would allow the victims to report any sexual harassment issues without having a fear of retaliation.
In conclusion, sexual harassment is a source of concern for many employees and employers alike. It results in lowered productivity levels and losses for the enterprises involved. Enterprises, therefore, need to ensure that they provide adequate protection to their employees against sexual harassment for them to thrive.
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