Sexual Harassment - Pray for help

Supervisors have a duty of care to protect employees and their company from the consequences of workplace harassment. They are often the first source of assistance for a harassed employee. Supervisors should be educated and well-equipped to deal with a problem that, at times, is often anything but clear-cut. 

If a supervisor observes or hears about inappropriate behavior, it is their responsibility to take it seriously and deal with it immediately. A quick response can mean the difference between stopping behavior before it leads to workplace harassment and having allowed it to rise to the level of workplace harassment.

Most harassment begins with inappropriate comments or acts that are not promptly addressed by a supervisor, and then continue and escalate. It is important to focus on the impact of the behavior, not the intent of the person doing the behavior. Encourage the victim to complain directly to Human Resources if they have such a department, or to the person tasked with dealing with such complaints. Regardless, supervisors should immediately and objectively document the conduct and forward that information to the person in charge of investigating the behavior.

In the USA, there is a classic case of sexual harassment straight out of the 70’s when a waitress at a Cafe, stated that from 2009 her direct manager, asked her if her breasts were real. He then asked her if she would ever "participate in a wet t-shirt contest because she would be the winner."

The comments continued, and the waitress became more distressed, she asked him to stop even threatening to report him to the management above him in the business. But he didn't stop, and at one point, he allegedly told her that she got him into trouble with his girlfriend the previous night when he called out her name while having sex, the claim stated.

About an hour after that comment, he approached her again and told her he and his girlfriend were recently at Lingerie Shop and he was "trying to guess [her] size so he could buy her an outfit."

The Waitress decided enough was enough. She went to a different manager, to report the ongoing sexual harassment. However, much to her disappointment, he gave her this useless advice: "Pray about the situation".

If she did, her prayers weren't answered, and the sexual overtures continued. On Halloween the following year in 2010, her direct manager showed up to work dressed in costume, a doctor's outfit, of course. He then asked her to meet him in his office so he could "give her an exam," the claim alleges.

No-one should have to come to work and feel uncomfortable or threatened. It would be easy to say "just quit" but in a country with high unemployment, it is not easy to find another job. People do not always have a choice. People deserve to be treated with respect.

When it comes to addressing complaints of sexual harassment in the workplace, businesses need to train their supervisors to do more than offer “spiritual advice”.


Latest News

Robert Cooper - one of 100 faces of small business

This week it was announced as part of Small Business Week,  that Robert has been named one of the 100 faces of small business for a State Government promotion on the great value that small businesses play in the State of Queensland.

You can see Robert's entry here:

It is the third accolade for CPR Insurance Services in a month and after seven and a half years in business is a real pep up for the company.

For Robert, it is the culmination of many years experience, becoming well qualified, experiencing the highs and lows of a career and always wanting to contribute to his community. Sometimes, these things just come together and you receive recognition for your efforts.

Robert says that there is no doubt that starting your own business is a huge challenge, but with the right research and planning, the right people around you and a good set of values that you apply to the vision of the company, you have a very good chance of making it all succeed.

Robert says he is lucky. He has a strong supportive Wife, Mandy, who is also part of the business, along with efficient and hard working staff such as Julia McLauchlan and Aidan Harmer who are building up their own skills in a learning environment. 

However, the most important and most supportive people for CPR Insurance Services are our clients who have stuck by us and supported us over the past seven years. Our focus remains on providing the best possible service we can and always acting in their best interests. To all our clients, we say thank you!

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CPR Insurance wins Brokerage of the year

CPR Insurance Services picked up the award for the Best Brokerage (1-5 staff) in Australia, last Friday Night (4th May 2018) at the Insurance Business Magazine Awards held at the Westin in Sydney.

Judging came from various parts of the industry. It is a great honour to be recognised for our hard work and particular Business values we follow. A full list of winners is listed here.

Success comes from having great staff, and we thank Aidan Harmer and Julia McLauchlan as important support staff for helping us win such an award.

CPR Insurance has been in operation for more than 7 years now and is only successful because of the wonderful support from our staff, insurers and most importantly, our fantastic clients who put their faith and trust into our company to be their Risk Advisers and Brokers. 

Thank you to all.

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