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Model Code of Conduct for Virtual Meetings

Far from eliminating workplace harassment, telecommuting has only caused it to morph into digital forms. As a result, law offices and other employers need to tweak their harassment policies to deal with the new face of harassment. The virtual meeting, in particular, has become the digital age version of the holiday office party where employees feel emboldened to do and say things they wouldn’t dream of doing and saying to co-workers in-person. How do you crack down on this behavior? The starting point is to implement a Code of Conduct Virtual Meetings. Here’s a template you can adapt.

COMPLIANCE

How to give your analog workplace harassment policy a digital makeover

One of the only nice things about the pandemic is the relief it’s provided from workplace harassment. After all, employees are far less vulnerable to workplace harassment when they work from home. Right? Absolutely wrong!!! Since the pandemic began: More than 4 in 10 U.S. workers (41 percent) reported that they’ve been subjected to some form of digital harassment (Pew Research); Nearly half (45 percent) of women experiencing sexual harassment say it happened remotely (Rights of Women, UK and Wales (“ROW”)); 23 percent of women reporting that they’ve been harassed say the problem has actually gotten worse since they began working from home (ROW); and More than 7 in 10 (73 percent) of victims say they don’t think their employer is doing enough to protect them from remote harassment (ROW)…. . . . read more

HARASSMENT

How managers can help victims of revenge porn

By Lynne Curry When “Paula” broke up with “Rob,” he vowed she’d regret ending their relationship. She thought Rob meant she’d miss him. She didn’t realize he planned to destroy her reputation, nor that the drama would cost her a job and perhaps her career. Three days later Paula sat in shocked silence looking at nude photos where she lay asleep half on, half off a blanket laid on the grass. Her manager told her, “I’m sorry. These have spread like wildfire through the office. I don’t know that we can keep you. I can’t imagine you’ll want to stay.” Two months earlier, Rob had talked her into sex in his backyard, pointing out the tall fence shielded them from his neighbor’s windows. She had been uneasy but had gone… . . . read more

HUMAN RESOURCES

5 people problems and how to solve them

By Lynne Curry bio We can’t guess all the challenges facing us as office managers in this new year, but we can assume that we will be dealing with an old one: people and their personalities. Whether working together virtually or in-person, chances are good you will be dealing with people problems. Here are five common problems and strategies for dealing with them. Stopping a bully senior manager without losing your job Question: I face a situation that has no easy answer and no easy solution. As the office manager and human resources director, I supposedly enforce our corporation’s code of conduct and oversee the human resource issues. I report to the report to the chief operating officer, a bully who runs roughshod over any employee unlucky enough to cross… . . . read more

Quiz

Office’s duty to protect returning employees from COVID-19 discrimination and harassment

SITUATION Fully recovered from his bout with COVID-19, Max is thrilled and excited to return to his custodian job after 14 days of mandatory home isolation. But almost immediately, he senses that something is wrong. His co-workers shun him and leave the room the moment he enters. And, while hygiene and handwashing are de rigueur for all maintenance staff, Max alone is required douse his hands in germicide and don rubber gloves each time he touches a piece of equipment. Worse, his supervisor harasses him and calls him “virus boy.” After weeks of putting up with it, Max complains to office management. But his complaints fall on deaf ears and he continues to be ostracized and made to take extraordinary safety and hygiene measures not required of anybody else. So,… . . . read more

COMPLIANCE QUIZ

Can racial discrimination be proven with circumstantial evidence alone? 

SITUATION An equipment repair technician who also happens to be the office’s only African American employee endures racial abuse at the hands of his supervisor and co-workers. He complains to management and is warned to “stay in his lane.” Shortly thereafter, somebody leaves a noose on his desk. It’s the last straw. The technician claims he was subject to systemic racial discrimination and files an EEOC complaint. The office closes ranks and vehemently denies the charges and nobody is willing to testify on the technician’s behalf. Without witnesses to corroborate his story, the technician is left to rely on the following evidence: Pictures of the noose on his desk; His own testimony, which is credible and reliable; and The fact that the manager and supervisor’s denials lack credibility and consistency…. . . . read more

BLOG

What you need to know when a bully takes you on

By Lynne Curry  bio
You’ve met bullies who play a win/lose game, even as you aim for a win/win solution. Guess who loses when…


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BLOG

You can be personally liable for what happens in your workplace

By Lynne Curry  bio
It comes as a surprise to most managers when a plaintiff names them personally as a co-defendant in a lawsuit against the manager’s company…


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SEXUAL HARASSMENT

5 blind spots in sexual harassment policies and how to fix them

Recent months have witnessed the morphing of workplace sexual harassment prevention from legal requirement to moral imperative. And while the current fervor is…


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GENDER DISCRIMINATION

Study finds alarming ambivalence about gender discrimination in the workplace, despite evidence that compensation inequality and harassment exist

Randstad US has released results of a survey examining American workers’ feelings and experiences related to…


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