Thursday, January 26, 2012

Discipline for Sexual Harassment Not Good Enough to Reduce Risk

If you are not referring employees to your company EAP after they have been reprimanded for sexual harassment, you don't have an expert to help you prevent a future occurrence of sexual harassment. So, good luck if you did not fire the employee or it was not serious enough. The disciplinary action may not stop an employee with a sexual addiction. You have no deterrence.

A firm management response often prevents a second offense of sexual harassment by an employee. But if an employee has difficulty with the control of impulsive behavior or a long history of personal issues that contribute to inappropriate behavior, something more may be needed. EAPs help employees examine any contributing factors to sexual harassment behavior. Sometimes the only factors are problematic social skills. In other situations, more complex issues may contribute to an employee’s inability to control behavior. For one employee, education and awareness may be the intervention of choice. For another, professional counseling or intensive treatment may be needed for a variety of treatable health issues that can lead to behavior problems in the workplace. EAPs discover that many employees are willing to accept such help with an incalculable cost-benefit to the organization.