Sunday, December 6, 2009

Reducing the Risk of Violence with Better Relational Skills with Your Employees

In the workplace drug and alcohol use is the primary cause of violence, from fistfights to rape. About 15 people are murdered on the job each week. Surprised? They aren't all as sensational as Fort Hood, but hundreds of murders occur in the workplace each year.

Only exceptional cases make it to the national news, and certainly every one makes the local press. As a supervisor or manager, you want to ensure that you do not become famous in this particular way, so here are a few tips with regard to the relationship that you have with your employees. The most important is to listen, detect, and pay attention to their complaints.

Come down hard on employees who bully others, tease an employee for the behavior, ethnic background, funny looks, or odd poorly-formed social skills. Listen more to employees who are airing complaints. Give positive comments to employees and deal with any personal issues you have that interfere with your ability to demonstrate warmth and positive regard to employees.

Follow up more after an employee is terminated. Of course, this is usually a human resource function, and even HR may have a hard time doing.

Resistance to dealing with the employee's anguish makes this a tough assignment, but you must figure out how to insert support into the larger picture and not simply decide that the employee needs to lump it. Well, you can, but there are certain profiles of employee that present extraordinary risk if you decide to go this route.

The bells should go off if your employees is male, an historically poor performer or loner, has any fascination with guns, has previously threatened to act violently, has been working for the company for about five years, or is an ostracized, socially awkward, or bullied employee.

You know right now which employees in your organization are picked on, teased, held up to ridicule, or otherwise abused. These are ticking time-bombs.

So what if you terminate an employee along with HR helping you do it. Phoning the employee ain't likely. After all, the employee may hate your guts. So what's the answer.

Use your company's employee assistance program or EAP, and DO NOT involve them in the terminations, less they become "contaminated". They will not be able to provide support in the form of a listening ear later if you force the EAP into doing this. It is also arguable, inappropriate and unethical to surprise an employee with the EAP sitting in the termination interview. (Why? It violates the doctrine of client self-determination of asking for help, and not have the helper go to the employee. This doctrine applies to all helping professions. This is why psychologist don't knock on your front door or phone you to ask whether you need services.)

Long before ever having to terminate employee, make liberal use of the program as a referral source for dealing with troubled employees. That includes the following: Those with poor performance, victims of accidents or incidents, recipients of disciplinary actions, coworkers in conflict, employees with garnished wages or who come to your attention by way of media incidents, legal problems, or other behaviors, employees who tell you first about a personal problem affecting the lives or performance.

A newsletter to help your supervisor develop better relational skills with subordinates is FrontLine Supervisor. You can get a free trial subscription here. There is lower rate for any company with fewer than 100 employees. Ask about it. Or you can learn all about this publication here.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

How to Turn Away, Not Turn Off A Troubled Employee

You don't want troubled employees lining up at your door to discuss all the personal problems they experience in their lives. Unfortunately, I have seen things get almost this bad with some supervisors play an almost mother hen role with subordinates.

The trick is getting your employee, who may be incline to process personal problems until the cows come home, to turn to other resources available to them that are more effective than you. (I hope that didn't sound insulting, but only like a rat tail snap in the butt!)

If you are good listener, you have a double-edged sword working for and against you. It's difficult to turn away an employee who approaches you to discuss a personal problem. However, if your employees do come to share, it may be difficult to ask them to go somewhere else.

Appearing as though you are disinterested or too busy to care may be your biggest concern. Still, a counselor, doctor, mental health pro, or EAP is the better choice. To make your referral task easier, while minimizing the likelihood that your employee will feel rejected and stomp off, try the following:

  1. Appear interested and listen to the problem presented by your employee. (No problem with that.)
  2. Demonstrate empathy by acknowledging your employee's stress or anxiety. This helps the employee feel accepted and increases motivation for further problem solving.
  3. Tell the employee that you are glad he or she feels comfortable approaching you with an important personal problem.
  4. State that although you are concerned, you believe a better source of help would be_______. Hopefully your company has provided service or recommended statement to use when employees bring personal problems. Even if a company does not have an EAP, there should be some policy that essentially offers an officially sanctioned statement of referral to some community resource.
  5. Assist the employee in making contact with the recognized source of help by providing the phone number or inviting the employee to call from your office for an appointment. (Very effective.)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Is the Flu or Are You Being Scammed by the Employee Addict?

So, how would you know if something like the flu is what's really keeping your employee out of work for three or four days if they just got out of the hospital after treatment for alcoholism? Good question! Employees who return to work after receiving alcoholism or drug addiction treatment can certainly get sick later on with the flu or other illnesses anyone else might get. It can be helpful to require that the employee obtain a letter from a physician to explain further absenteeism, but acquiring such a letter is not a difficult task for a determined employee who has recently relapsed. A better alternative is to have your company employee assistance counselor (Hey there fella! Do you have one that works?) receive follow-up information from the treatment provider and then with proper consent forms signed by your employee, act a contact to discuss employee problems you might later encounter. The key of course is the treatment program following up on patient's it treats, and also sharing appropriate information with your company's EAP. Employees do get sick my friend. But those that are following through with their post-treatment, self-care recommendations will be less likely to drink or use again, necessitating their lying about work absences. You have only to consider whether the absenteeism pattern you are observing is reasonable like any other employee. Appropriate feedback from the EAP counselor or human resource manager who has knowledge of the treatment provider's follow-up record for your employee will be the best way to feel good about welcoming your employee back to work after the flu.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Confronting Your Employee--and He's In a Blackout!

Dealing with an employee you have previously reprimanded is difficult. Dealing with blackouts: when your employee doesn't remember being sent home drunk is even more complicated.

Disciplinary action is an unfortunate necessary responsibility of a supervisor. Well documented disciplinary action will focus on work performance and is the best way to make an uncomfortable situation bearable for both you and the employee.

Any employee who doesn’t remember being sent home drunk is likely going to try a variety of tactics to prove their innocence. They may make excuses; even provide possible scenarios that seem plausible to anyone who was not present at the time when they were sent home. Or they may try and relate the incident to another time they do remember, confusing the facts and diverting the situation. Diverting the issue is typical for someone who has blackouts and cannot remember specifics. You should be aware of and prepared for these behavior patterns. Make sure when you send an employee home drunk you have documented the event with a reliable witness and the employee’s signature. Even if the signature is difficult to read due to a loss of motor skills, there is no excuse to invalidate documentation. This will help prevent the feeling of being stranded in a Jerry Springer show entitled Blackouts: When Your Employee Doesn't Remember Being Sent Home Drunk.

In the case of blackouts: when your employee doesn't remember being sent home drunk you may find they will claim they didn’t know, or that “everyone is against them,” they may blame others or try gaining your pity for their personal situation. If they do no remember being sent home drunk they may try playing on your sympathy. Your best defense against this is a calm approach, keeping to the issues of work performance and conduct. A level head on your part will do more to diffuse the issue than anything. Even if the employee begins to get angry or breaks down into tears, you need to keep your focus on the matter of work. Do not try and moralize their situation or diagnose their problem. If the employee was sent home drunk, than the action taken was deemed appropriate at the time and your only course is to stand behind that decision.

The key to dealing with blackouts: when your employee doesn't remember being sent home drunk is to keep level headed and stick to the documentation.

A Web course for training supervisors in DOT Alcohol and Drug Training can be previewed free and without obligation by completing the form at DOT TRAINING OF SUPERVISORS. The web course is offered by and published by Daniel Feerst, LISW-CP. Dan Feerst, MSW, LISW. He began his employee assistance career in 1978 as a Social Science Officer for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, Occupational Alcoholism Program in Langley, VA. Since then, he has served as a staff member or director for some of America's most well-known Employee Assistance and Counseling Programs, including the Kennecott Copper INSIGHT Employee Assistance Program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture 22 Agency EAP Consortium, and Arlington County Government and Public Schools EAP in Arlington, VA. He has consulted with hundreds of small businesses on helping employees, intervening with substance addicted workers, and how to develop effective alcohol and drug-policies.

Obtain and view a DOT Alcohol and Drug Education web course with the features discussed above at The company permits a full full review of the course on a CD that plays on your computer just like it would on you your web site.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Overcoming Supervisor Fear in Reasonable Suspicion Confrontations

The specter of supervisor fear in reasonable suspicion confrontations can create a disproportionate sense of dread when dealing with this issue. No-one ever wants to be the ‘heavy’ or to have to be the one to tell an employee they are no longer performing effectively in their job. When there are the complications of drug or alcohol abuse coloring the situation there is the added worry of the blame/denial cycle, or of heated exchange and recriminations turning to ugly confrontation. The best way to guard against ugliness is with education. If you are well educated on how to approach the situation and communicate well to the employee then things will go much smoother than you expect.

A supervisor can feel fear for many reasons – the most common are the fear of the unknown (not knowing how the employee will react) and the fear of being inadequate – of not knowing what to say. A good training program can help overcome these fears by giving you a complete understanding of the process from both the supervisor’s role and responsibilities, and through representational examples of possible employee reactions. When you have been fully trained then it is possible to control, and even eliminate supervisor fear in reasonable suspicion confrontations.

Another key to conquering supervisor fear in reasonable suspicion confrontations is to remember that your employee’s problems are not going to go away by themselves. In fact, it is quite the opposite, in the vast majority of cases the problem will only get worse until the employee spirals so deep in the grip of drugs or alcohol that they lose everything. In many ways, by calling their attention to the problem now you are doing them a favor. Of course, the employee will not see it that way for a long time. This is where proper training can help you effectively deal with the situation and avoid personalizing it, or taking anything cruel that is said to heart.

It is natural to feel some trepidation when dealing with a difficult employee or situation, but when you are properly prepared and trained, the nervousness can be kept to a minimum and will not distract you from the proper steps that you need to take. Because there is so much riding on the proper treatment of the employee it is natural to feel some supervisor fear in reasonable suspicion confrontations, but there is no need for that fear to cripple you.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Online or Web Based Reasonable Suspicion Training for Drug Free Workplace DOT Supervisor Training

It's difficult to find an adequate web-based, or online Reasonable Suspicion Training Course to reach all of those branch offices you can't easily travel to.

But there are a couple solutions.

First, a few precautions: 1) Get one without the usual infinite online per-user fees. That just eliminated 95% of the choices. Instead, get a program that you own, you buy, you keep, you upload easily to your company web site, and completely control for emailing the start link to supervisors and managers needing DOT Training for a Drug Free Workplace.

Next, ensure that the author is from "the trenches". Woops. There goes another 98%. Don't panic. Solutions are below. You need a little interesting information, so understand the following:

Myths and misconceptions are so strongly held by supervisors and managers that any reasonable suspicion training program that does not spend time addressing and confronting them, essentially becomes nothing more than entertaiment. Seriously, you don't want that. An author of such a program from the trenches who has it all in the way of "excuses and explanations" from suspected employees using on the job, will give your training some life. Your training must help supervisors not fall for the creative excuses and explanations employees deliver on the spot.

And, do not simply do the minimum required training with supervisors mandated by the DOT for supervisor alcohol and drug education. Go a little further and kill these myths and misconceptions in your DOT Training or Alcohol in the Workplace Training program. Your drug free workplace efforts will pay off big time.

Drug free workplaces are made possible not by education alone, but energy of awareness given to supervisors in the training directly caused by successfully dispelling myths. If you do this, supervisor become strong believers and change agents, cover up less, and promote a drug-free workplace.

If you do not have an effective program, they are only hestitant trainees who slept through DOT training.

Alcohol workplace issues especially face the above issues. Alcohol in the Workplace related problems are associated with the most most myths of all. Here's why:

Seventy percent of the adult population drinks alcohol. This is a conservative estimate. Alcoholism affects 10% of them. The most important thing for an alcoholic employee to believe that the cessation of alcohol use is not necessary in order to resolve any personal problems in his or her life that directly or indirectly result from alcohol use. As a result, enormous inertia exists in society in the form of myths, misconceptions, false beliefs about alcoholism and addiction.

The most precious of these myths is the psychological origin of addiction myth. Why is this so value in its absolute falsehood? There are TWO reasons: 25-50% of psychologically treated persons have alcohol and drug problems and don't need the level of psychological care they receive at great expense.

The economic cost of giving these patients up to simple education, disease management, motivational counseling, AA, and self-disease management for abstinence is enormous. It would cause the collapse of the mental health field. And 2) if a person with alcoholism can be effectively treated for their psychological problems (in theory) WOW!, then drinking normally again becomes a possiblity.

Now imagine a reasonable suspicion training program that discusses these issues and a whole lot more? Not in the depth I just discussed, but enough to ZAP the myth. One out of four people has an alcoholic in their family, and if you are one of them - you're resisting what you just read. (Am I right?)

Try these super online training programs no one will sleep through:

WORKEXCEL.COM Reasonable Suspicion Training

BEHAVIORALRISK.COM Reasonable Suspicion Training Reasonable Suspicion Training

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Preventing Unnecessary Compensable Stress Claims

A lot is said about helping to prevent compensable stress claims with employees -- a medical problem that has severely impacted workers' compensation premiums in recent years.

Well, according to National Underwriter, the largest circulating property casualty news magazine, the most important factor in compensable stress claims is the involvement of an attorney who works on the behalf of a client (your employee) who may have been injured, experienced a traumatic event, or had another experience that could later manifest itself as a "stress reaction." Dealing with crazy supervisors and stopping inappropriate behavior is a large piece of this risk reduction puzzle.

Once an attorney is involved, separating those employees who may be malingering from real stress reactions may be extremely difficult.

Events that follow attorney involvement may include sexual harassment, being forced to participate in illegal activity, or negative effects of a dysfunctional supervisor.

This is still a very controversial area of workers' compensation. Many states disallow reimbursement for stress claims because of the potential for and history of abuse by employees. (California not one of them. Very progessive thinkers--those California folks. Not sure if their financial reforms include reducing the allowance of compensable stress claims.) By the way, I do support compensable stress claims for PTSD, or even acute stress reactions to a point.

According to research, responding quickly to real employee complaints, offering true empathy, and speeding assistance to injured employees may be the best way to prevent the involvement of an attorney and then a compensable stress claim. Please -- begging you to hear this -- the best way to do this is to employ the services of an employee assistance professional who gets to know your employees very, very well, and who by way of promotion gets to be regarded as the "go-to" person to address personal problems.

Give this individual strong confidentiality protection of his or her employee records and make that match the CFR 42 Part II. What that!? These are the federal confidentiality guidelines that are considered the strictest in existence. They are more strict than the medical confidentiality laws that govern primary care physicians and your personal medical records -- even the deepest, darkest, medical issues at your doctor's office. You didn't know about these laws?

CFR 42 Part II was passed into law in 1970 by the Hughe Act that started the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. They protect alcohol and drug addiction treatment records but any counseling issue will fall into their provision when a counseling program address substance abuse and receives federal funding. In fact, it's mandatory. But your program or counseling services can adopt these counseling guidelines voluntarily, and I would suggest strongly that you do. Make it corporate policy.

Simply state officially that your employee assistance professional confidentiality and records conform to these laws and you will have a solid promotional tool to get employees calling for help. Promote it continuously.

Now you will a professional counselor working on your behalf to help employees and spinning down concerns, anger, crises, and complaints where appropriate. Recommend any injured employee get help from the EAP. Allow the EAP to do presentation on recovery from injury and stress.

The EAP will encourage employees in sessions to sign a release so it can help resolve issues that can lead to lawsuits and better get the employee's needs met.

EAPs are the underplayed, underutilized, and have been screwed up by managed care companies, most of which have exploited them for their own purposes of limiting access to mental health benefits in exchange for financial performance bonuses paid to top management for their success in doing so.

If the above was not the case, you would already know what I just described above and it would be "household knowledge" because EAPs are so powerful and effective in resolving enormous personal problems that cause companies huge financial losses each year.

Frankly, if you are paying high premiums for Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPL) or Director and Officer's Liability Coverage, argue for a discount if you use an EAP that is onsite, integrated, tenured, and that has low staff turnover. You're at less risk. They insurance company only needs to do a survey of existing customers to discover this reality.

The mechanism I just described reduces lawsuits related to employment claims, plain and simple.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Using Your Company's EAP as a Management Tool

The best kept secret in the world is the art and science of managers making use of the company Employee Assistance Program to help employees improve performance, reduce absenteeism, and resolve personal problems that may lead to extraordinary behavioral risk, including risk of violence.

In 1969 a revolution took place in the America with the advent of "Employee Assistance Programs" (EAPs) and the establishment of a new profession entitled the "Employee Assistance Professional".

EAPs flurished and solved an age only problem for managers wresting with problem employees. EAPs gave them a third alternative or avenue of management that was completely new. Beyond the role of tolerating an employee problems until they were eventually fired or badgering employees until they had some crisis, there were not alternatives to fire or ignore. Along came employee assistance programming.

EAPs are all about salvaging employees and getting them back to work healthier, more happy, and more productive than they were before.

I will offer effective tips to help supervisors manage people better. And we will be spending a lot of time together helping you acquire skills to reduce stress and help managers be all they can be.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Magic in Non-Disciplinary Letters

I have always been amazed at how supervisors chase employees to improve performance, stomp their feet to get them to work on time, or scold workers to curtail their inappropriate behavior. When none of the usual, emotional wrangling to to correct employee performance works, and a major incident occurs, out come the big guns - disciplinary action. What happened to the art and science of managing employees with an effective non-disciplinary corrective letter?

The missing piece of armament that very few supervisors seem to ever master well is the non-disciplinary corrective letter. A non-disciplinary corrective letter is a management tool and supportive measure to call an employee's attention unsatisfactory job performance and motivate him or her to make corrections to satisfy standards.

Effective corrective letters utilize potential reward and fear of loss to match the motivational psyche of the employee. (Some employees become motivated by reward. Other by fear of loss. It is the equivalent of being either left handed or right handed. And, of course some employees are both -- call it "motivation-ally ambidextrous."

Here is a "classic" non-disciplinary corrective letter. Print this model, because it can be a good one for you to consider.


To: Sally Smith, Machinist
From: John Doe, Supervisor
Subj: Attendance and Performance Problems
Date: 1-1-2006

Last week I reviewed the sick leave records and discovered that you have taken nine days of sick leave in the past year. Each of these days occurred on a Tuesday following a holiday weekend, or on a Friday preceding a three-day holiday weekend. I discussed my concern about this pattern with you last August 12, 2005. Since then, I have grown increasingly concerned. Your last such absence was on Dec. 27, 2005.

As you know, sick leave is a benefit to be used when necessary. The frequency of your sick leave is too high and affects your ability to perform essential functions. On February 15, several overdue widget projects caused a loss of their sale the day you were out. This cost the company $50,000. Your absences also negatively affect clerical staff. I would like to see your performance improve and your absences reduce.

You have excellent skills, and are a valued worker on the assembly line. But, if your use of sick leave remains high I will take additional steps to intervene, which could include administrative or disciplinary action.

Please provide verification of any future illness in which you lose work time. Please see me if you have any questions with regard to this request or the contents in this memo.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. As you know, the EAP is always available to assist you in the event a personal problem is contributing to your attendance problem. You can reach the EAP confidentially at 555-1234. I will review your use of sick leave in one month on Tuesday, February 1, 2006. Please plan to meet with me at 3:00 PM on that day.

cc: next level supervisor

Friday, October 9, 2009

Employee Violence and Problematic Relationships with Supervisors

I wanted to talk with you about workplace violence and supervisor relationships.

EAPs routinely help resolve problematic relationships that employees have with their supervisors. If you haven't worked with this type of issue yet, you will.

I believe this intervention activity that HR managers, EAPs, and even OD people sometimes tackle has the most potential to improve productivity, reduce risk of violence, and help insulate the company from lawsuits -- big ones. The role EAPs play in helping resolve employee-supervisor conflict should get more attention in the literature.

I have always believed that effective EAP models reduce the number of potentially violent acts that, as a result, never happen. The question is, do companies appreciate this enormous benefit that can't be easily proven?

Many of these cases begin with employees who have problems with supervisors. These problems don't just create conflict and distraction. They can lead to death by a violent act. The subject of violence and improving relationships with supervisors is so critical to safety that I always include articles about it during the year when writing\'s newsletters. I so badly want to produce 7-9 minute Flash movie on "Best Tips for Reducing Supervisory Conflict with Subordinates" I think this would prevent violent acts more than the usual "know the nearest exit to your office if your employee explodes."

Employees love tips for improving their relationships with supervisors. There are huge payoffs for providing them, and top management will love you for doing so. That's because management can't rally employees to improve their relationships with their supervisors. The dynamics of paycheck-driven relationships simply makes it impossible. Your newsletter is a perfect medium for doing it.

Here are a few topics to consider for your next newsletter and those down the road. Chase after your newsletter company to write about these topics. If you are in a pinch, have them send me an e-mail and I will reply with my thoughts. They shouldn't have any problem if the writers possess an EAP background, of course.

Topic ideas

* Improving channels of communication and increasing frequency of
communicationSpeaking with your boss freely about concerns early on, before
problems arise
* Asking for advice about problems that you are experiencing on the job
* Writing down your concerns and sharing them; helping plan your evaluation goals
* Asking for feedback -- going to the boss and not waiting for it
* Considering your boss's perspective -- not just your own; how to do it and why
* Using tact when discussing differences
* Figuring out what your boss really wants from you, without asking
* Understanding that your supervisor is probably not "out to get you"

Don't just make a newsletter entertaining for employees. Make it a loss-prevention tool for the company. These tips will reduce conflict, improve program utilization, and increase top management's awareness for your true value.

Employee Newsletters for EAPs and Workforce Productivity

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Supervisor Training Tips in Reasonable Suspicion

Supervisor training tips in reasonable suspicion practice can be invaluable if you must deal with an employee whose job performance has become affected by drug or alcohol use.

There are few processes that you will undertake as a manager or supervisor that are as fraught with difficulty as confronting an employee for reasonable suspicion. There are many training courses available to help you learn how to deal with these situations but it may typically be months or longer after the training before you have to deal with a reasonable suspicion case at your workplace.

Training tips that summarize the course and remind you of specific information points are invaluable in helping you recall the training and put techniques to use.

Many of the best supervisor training tips in reasonable suspicion practice can come in the form of a list of Don’ts. Don’t discuss your suspicions of drug or alcohol use with others (except the appropriate line manager). Don’t play Doctor – you do not need to diagnose the problem. Don’t cover up for the employee.

Don’t moralize –at the workplace you are only concerned about conduct and job performance. Don’t be ‘suckered in’ by the play for sympathy. Don’t make statements (threats) that you have no intention of carrying out. Don't use you own recovery from alcoholism as a blow-away attempt to have the employee "fess" up. Don't take your employee to you Wednesday, AA meeting.

Dealing well with a reasonable suspicion case also involves on-going work with the employee if they maintain the job. In this case, supervisor training tips in reasonable suspicion practice can give you reminders of how to move forward. Do keep an open door policy to encourage good communication and do have respect for the employee’s privacy. Do allow time for the employee to adjust to the new situation. Do hold regular performance appraisal meetings. Do encourage the employees personal efforts (support groups, counselling etc). Do give regular and supportive feedback for both performance and behaviour. Do give immediate feedback and correction if you notice the old pattern re-emerging.

Supervisor training tips in reasonable suspicion can serve as bullet point reminders of the deeper lessons you received in reasonable suspicion training. They will help you recall the steps to take, and the things to expect. Most good quality training courses will provide you with a great list of hints and tips. If however, the course you are taking does not provide you with a readymade list, make your own as you go through the training. This ‘short list’ of the salient points can help you remember the critical details of the training when the pressure is on.

If you are in search of excellent supervisor training tips, try and do a key word search under reasonable suspicion. You will discover thousands of ideas and choices.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Yep, that is Sexual Harassment!

Q. We have a supervisor who frequently makes "crude" and embarrassing sexual remarks to both men and women in our work group, but no one specifically. We're a pretty "rowdy" group and some of us even respond with approval at times. It can't be sexual harassment if no one person is the "target" of this behavior, right?

A. Wrong. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that harassing, abusive, and crude remarks can constitute sexual harassment, even though a supervisor directed the comments to all employees. The important question to ask in all sexual harassment cases is this: Is the supervisor's conduct sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of employment and create a hostile or abusive working environment. If so, the issue turns to whether the employer, when informed of the abusive behavior, took prompt action to remedy the situation. If supervisors remember this description, much of the gray area of questionable behavior will become clear. Also, even if a supervisor's conduct is equally degrading to both men and women, it does not make the conduct immune from liability for sexual harassment.