Sunday, 29 April 2012

Sexual Harrassment

The David Jones case involving Kristy Fraser-Kirk against former chief executive Mark McInnes raised the profile of sexual harrasment cases.  It was a wake up call to organisations that they needed to have policies and procedures in place to deal with allegations of harrasment or face serious claims against them in court.  Recent research by academics Sara Charlesworth and Paula McDonald (to view report click here) based on data from 284 complaints found that 90 percent of alleged offenders were male and almost all victims were female.  In addition, although the David Jones case with its multi million dollar claim has stayed in most of our minds the average payout was $13 596. The Victorian Equal Opportunity Commission's statistics found that rather than put in a claim one in five people just resigned. A legal firm which handles sexual harrasment cases suggested that the number of sexual harrasment allegations had fallen in most workplaces and that victims were more willing to speak out and take legal action.
It is to be hoped that these positives changes,if accurate,have been brought about by the raisedprofile of the issue and workplaces slowly making it clear, with the development of policies and procedures that such behaviour is inappropriate in the workplace.

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