Conflict Management and Sexual Harassment

Conflict management is the ability to identify and handle conflicts effectively and fairly. Conflicts in a business are a natural part of the workplace, so it is important to know how to resolve them.

Conflict Resolution

  • Disagreements are inevitable
  • Misunderstanding
  • Speak up politely, firmly (State your case firmly and politely)
  • Let it go
  • Focus on behavior – control emotions
  • Focus on one topic
  • Listen carefully
  • Restate
  • Don’t interrupt or get defensive
  • Admit when you’re wrong
  • Use shared goals
  • Communication is key
  • Focus on team goals

Something to think about...

Conflict Resolution

Disagreements are a natural part of working. When handled properly, the can lead to solutions and better working relationships.

Think about how yu might handle a disagreement with your boss and how you would prepare for a conversation to resolve the issue.

Plan ahead, control emotions, ask questions and accept the boss's decision.

Resolving Conflict with the Boss

  • More preparation
  • Practice what to say
  • Ask to arrange a time
  • Calm and tactful
  • Don’t accuse or criticize or act angry or sarcastic
  • Describe crew or company benefits of suggestions
  • Accept the boss’ decision

Sexual Harassment

What is Sexual Harassment?

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.

  • One of the major reasons women quit nontraditional jobs
  • Costs employers, unions, and employees
  • Employers can take action to prevent sexual harassment
  • Employees can take action to prevent sexual harassment
  • Options for victims

Something to think about...

Sexual Harassment

There are laws and protections in place to address sexual harassment issues on the job. If something makes you uncomfortable. Knowing the laws and policies at your workplace will help as you seek solutions to unwanted behaviors or comments.


Sexual Harassment: The Law

  • Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • Title VII applies to employers with 15 or more employees, including state and local governments.
  • It also applies to employment agencies and to labor organizations, as well as to the federal government.
  • It’s unlawful to retaliate against an individual for opposing employment practices that discriminate based on sex or for filing a discrimination charge

Sexual Harassment Circumstances

  • The victim as well as the harasser may be a woman or a man. The victim does not have to be of the opposite sex.
  • The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, an agent of the employer, a supervisor in another area, a coworker or a nonemployee.
  • The victim does not have to be the person harassed but could be anyone affected by the offensive conduct.
  • Unlawful sexual harassment may occur without economic injury to or discharge of the victim.
  • The harasser’s conduct must be unwelcome.

Examples of Sexually Harassing Behaviors

  • Sexual jokes, innuendos and gestures
  • Unsolicited and unwelcome flirtations, advances or propositions
  • Graphic or degrading comments about someone’s appearance, dress or body
  • Staring at an individual or focusing upon a particular area of the body
  • ‘Elevator eyes’ – looking someone up and down
  • Whistling, cat calls and leering
  • Terms of address such as “honey,” “baby,” “chick,” “hunk,” or “dear”
  • Regularly offering personal gifts such as flowers, candy, etc.
  • Display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures
  • Sexual or intrusive questions about an individual’s personal life
  • Explicit descriptions of the harasser’s own sexual experiences
  • Neck or shoulder massages
  • Pressure (however subtle) for sexual activity
  • Explicit offers of sex for grades, money or other rewards
  • Any unnecessary, unwanted physical contact such as touching, rubbing, hugging, pinching,
  • patting or kissing
  • Physical or sexual assault, including rape

Employee Role in Prevention

  • Read and understand the company sexual harassment policy
    • Posted where you will see it, such a break room
    • Employee handbook
  • Know the name and number of someone you can contact in case you are being sexually harassed
  • Follow the guidelines of your employer’s sexual harassment policy
  • Tell the person firmly, you find their behavior objectionable
  • Tell your supervisor
  • If your supervisor is the harasser, tell his manager
    • Don’t fear losing your job
    • Remember, the law states that your employer is liable
  • Keep a detailed log of the offensive behavior

Supervisor/Manager Role in Prevention

  • Notify all subordinates of the sexual harassment policy.
  • Establish and maintain a work atmosphere which is free of such harassment.
  • Conduct sexual harassment training for all managers, supervisors and employees.
  • Cooperate with the Equal Opportunity Division (EOD) to eliminate sexual harassment.
  • Inform the aggrieved persons of the right to contact their EEO Officer and / or the EOD for assistance.
  • Participate in the investigation and resolution of sexual harassment by:
    • Maintaining adequate documentation on each investigation
    • Providing timely and complete notification to appropriate persons on the disposition of each investigation.

Sexual Harassment Summary

  • Sexual harassment is against the law
  • The behavior is unwelcome in the workplace
  • Employers, managers, supervisors and employees have responsibility for prevention
  • The employee must state the behavior is unwelcome