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Reverse Psychology May Prevent Sexual Harassment

October 4th, 2019
saying no

Sexual harassment in the workplace continues to be a major societal issue despite decades of workplace training and lawsuits. The recent #MeToo movement has revealed an often hidden and rampant problem. The question must be asked why this form of employment harassment continues to take place today.

Under Title VII of the United States Civil Rights Act of 1964, workplace harassment was determined to be an illegal form of discrimination. This set the stage for a myriad of court cases over subsequent decades where employees who suffered workplace harassment could seek remedies under the law. Yet, it is clear from decades of statistics that despite widespread prevention in workplaces large and small, far more needs to be done to create work environments free of illegal discrimination.

Discrimination and Prevention Methods

Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination. It can occur during the hiring and firing process, and when determining promotions and pay raises. Sexual harassment can be based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and pregnancy. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) estimates that nearly three out of four victims of workplace harassment never report or discuss the issue with a manager. The most common reasons for this high number of unreported cases are due to fear of reprisals, accusations, and being ostracized both in the field and publicly.

Workers do have recourse under the law, but a recent EEOC report looks at reasons that prevention, rather than avoiding legal penalties, may be another tactic that is sorely needed. One opportunity broached in recent research is to use the tactic of reverse psychology in workplace sexual harassment training. According to employment professionals, most traditional anti-harassment training focuses on complying with the law and penalizing violators, rather than a holistic approach that works to change workplace culture. Sexual harassment training may simply be an annual checklist item rather than an opportunity to produce real results. Certainly, the fact that workplace sexual harassment has not been significantly reduced despite penalties points to a problem.

The use of reverse psychology offers an opportunity to change the workplace conversation around this issue. Changing training methods from punitive and negative to developing a compassionate and team-based work environment may produce better outcomes. Employment training focuses on themes, such as how to build a better work team or work environment that respects all people and offers a promising way to better motivate employees and employers. Behavioral psychology tells us that humans respond more to positive reinforcement methods, and this may be applied to the significantly difficult and stressful topic of workplace harassment.

Chester County Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Fight for Victims of Illegal Workplace Harassment

If you have been unlawfully harassed in your workplace, contact a Chester County sexual harassment lawyer at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Our experienced team has a record of standing up for those who have been victimized and obtaining the results you deserve. Located in Philadelphia, we represent clients throughout Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, northeast Philadelphia, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County. Please contact us for a free consultation through our online form or call us at 215-569-1999.

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