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Sexual-Harassment-Prevention

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[MUSIC PLAYING] [MUSIC PLAYING] Sexual harassment. You've heard about it. Maybe you think you know what it is. But what is it really? Sexual remarks. I'd say it's any sort of sexual advancement that's unwelcome. I guess it could be something innocent, like looking at someone the wrong way, or to make them feel uncomfortable, or inappropriate touching. Someone talks to you about something that's really personal to you or your personal life without you wanting to talk about it, and you've told them, don't talk about it anymore. It's just plain wrong, something that shouldn't be done. It has no place on-board this vessel or on any ship. Sexual harassment is not well understood, and it be even riskier in a maritime setting. It can cost your company hundreds of thousands of dollars and create an unsafe workplace. It can cost you your job. It can end your career. And it can destroy you financially. In this video, we will explain sexual harassment. We will reveal the risks, see examples, and learn how to handle situations as they arise. [MUSIC PLAYING] It's a fact and sexual harassment on a vessel can get much more serious than sexual harassment in a land-based job, and for one key reason. They are not just working together for eight hours a day or 12 hours a day. They are living together. They are sharing bathrooms. They are eating together in the galley. They are with each other, in some sense, 24/7. People on a ship are working at close quarters. It's a high-risk environment compared to land-based jobs. Land-based job, you can go home. You can see your family or friends. You can work out. You can have releases. But on-board, 24/7 you're with that person. In this video, you will learn about sexual harassment prevention. You will learn how to avoid sexual harassment and why to avoid it. We will look at unacceptable bad behavior and false myths about sexual harassment. You will understand the legal definition of sexual harassment and the very serious consequences. And you will learn proper reporting procedures, as well as how to prevent sexual harassment in the first place. [MUSIC PLAYING] It's all too easy for a mariner, male or female, to fall into a pattern of unacceptable bad behavior that can lead to a sexual harassment claim. At sea, there's a tendency for lots of kidding, some flirting, some just fooling around, just having a good time. But there are certain instances where they just take it a little bit too far, and you need to be aware of that. When you think about sexual harassment on-board, where does it really start? It could be with just a joke. It could be pictures that are plastered in the engine room. Where is a safe place to do those things? On-board a vessel, where the entire vessel is a workplace, there is no safe place. Bad behavior that can get you into trouble falls into three categories-- verbal, visual, and physical. In the verbal area, stray remarks, offensive remarks, making passes, commenting about appearances of a coworker, particularly sexual aspects of the appearance of a coworker-- all of those kinds of things can be construed as sexual harassment or support a hostile work environment claim. Consider this real-world example. Three male crew members stand talking among themselves. A fourth mariner arrives and joins the group. One of the mariners greets the newcomer with an inappropriate and sexually suggestive remark about his wife. "Hey, how's your wife and my girlfriend doing?" The fourth marine's face reddens, and an angry look comes across it. What you have just witnessed is an example of verbal sexual harassment. Bad verbal behavior could easily contribute to a sexual harassment claim. Avoid making comments about a coworker's appearance, especially comments that might seem sexually suggestive. Think before you speak, and avoid making offensive remarks. And be careful not to make passes at coworkers because these, too, can contribute to a sexual harassment claim. In the visual area, calendars or photographs of scantily-clad women staring or leering, even tight-fitting or revealing attire, all can be used as evidence in a sexual harassment claim. Here's another real-world example. A male crew member finishes his shift and opens the door to his locker. Inside the door are pictures of scantily-clad women, pictures that he barely notices anymore. But just over his shoulder, a new female crew member notices and naturally takes offense. Without realizing it, this male crew member may have just added damaging evidence to a sexual harassment claim. The third area of bad behavior is physical, and it is the riskiest of all areas of bad behavior. When it comes to physical examples, touching in an inappropriate place, inappropriate touching, simply brushing against a coworker, particularly if it's repetitive and doesn't seem to be accidental or doesn't appear accidental, that can support a hostile work environment claim. And of course, anything approaching a sexual assault is going to support a rather serious sexual harassment claim. Here is another real-world example. A female crew member takes a break with a cup of coffee in the galley after a long, hard day. The harasser, perhaps not intending anything bad, comes up behind, unwelcome, and begins to rub her shoulders. Her reaction is shock, perhaps even fear. And this incident could well become a part of a sexual harassment claim. I think mariners, when they are leering or joking or making sexual advances, somewhere in their behavior they think that that's OK. But it's not. It's unacceptable behavior on a vessel, or anywhere. But on a vessel, it's more exaggerated because of the isolation. Remember, a vessel can be a high-risk environment for sexual harassment claims. It's critical that you avoid bad behavior-- verbal, visual, or physical-- that can contribute to a sexual harassment claim. [MUSIC PLAYING] There are two kinds of sexual harassment, and it's important for you to understand the difference to correctly identify and report sexual harassment. The first kind is called hostile work environment sexual harassment, and the second is called quid pro quo sexual harassment. And they are defined differently. Hostile work environment sexual harassment is just like it sounds. It's unwelcome conduct, comments, or conditions in the workplace based on sex that rise to the level of harassment. For a seafarer, what it really means is it's obnoxious behavior in the workplace based on sex that is bad enough to bother a judge or a jury. And that's an important thing to consider because it's not what you think that is acceptable that counts. It's what a land-based judge and jury are going to think when the harassment claim goes to court. The second kind of sexual harassment is called quid pro quo. Quid pro quo harassment is different, and that is based on the hierarchy in the workplace or on the ship. It involves exchanging one thing for another. Quid pro quo is Latin for I'll trade you this for that. Quid pro quo sexual harassment involves a supervisor offering job benefits in exchange for sexual favors by a subordinate, or the flip side of that-- threatening negative action if the subordinate does not go along with his request for sexual favors. Quid pro quo is where that supervisor tells the worker that if they really want a raise or a new promotion, if I can get a trade or a favor for it, then they can receive it. When it comes to sexual harassment at sea, there are any number of old-fashioned, commonly held beliefs that are simply wrong. We call these false myths. There are certain myths around sexual harassment in the maritime workplace. The first one that comes to mind is what happens at sea, stays at sea. You may think that's sexual harassment that happens thousands of miles away from the home office is somehow off the radar, but it's not the case. It's just not true. It's a very small community. Word gets out fairly quickly. And it'll come back to bite you. The fact is word gets back, especially in this age of social media, like Facebook. And judges and juries will hold the ship to the same standards as any plant, or office, or land-based workplace. And this has very serious consequences for anyone who believes what happens at sea, stays at sea. Another commonly held myth about sexual harassment is that woman provoke the harassment by the way they dress or by the way they behave. It's surprising how many seafarers still believe this old myth. It's a tough case to defend. I don't think that judges or juries are very sympathetic to the idea that the woman provoked this awful behavior, this offensive behavior, because of the way she dressed. If that's the defense going into trial, you better settle the case. Another myth is that if you ignore sexual harassment, it'll go away. But on a ship, there's really nothing to take it away. It's a limited environment. It'll stay with you, and it won't go away. It's too easy to think that if you ignore sexual harassment, it will just go away. In fact, in case after case, the problem doesn't go away. It gets worse and worse, and leads to very serious circumstances. Sexual harassment based on sexual orientation as a hot topic these days-- people making jokes or making remarks about sexual orientation in the workplace. And the myth there is that somehow that's thought to be less serious than traditional forms of sexual harassment, male-on-female harassment. It's not less serious. It's every bit as risky, both to the employer and to the employees who are engaged in that kind of behavior. [MUSIC PLAYING] The consequences of a sexual harassment lawsuit are severe, both for the harasser and for the company. For the harasser, it won't just cost you your job. It can end your career, destroy your marriage, and ruin you financially. For the employer, it can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in court costs alone, on top of the disruption and lost productivity. The consequences of a sexual harassment claim to an employer can be very severe, and very disruptive, and very expensive. Even in relatively minor claims, the verdicts can get into the tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars just for the compensatory damages alone. The employer has to pay its own attorney to defend the case. And then the employer, if it loses, has to pay the plaintiff's attorney fees as well. And the attorney's fees in these kinds of cases themselves can go up for hundreds of thousands of dollars. The employer also has to deal with cost stemming from lost productivity, disruption to operations, and the effects on morale that all result from a sexual harassment claim. Disruption starts when the claim is made and all the coworkers need to be interviewed. But it gets worse when the lawsuit picks up steam, and depositions are taken, and people are subpoenaed to testify. It takes years and thousands of dollars. That adds additional disruption to the workplace and creates conflict, creates gossip, creates all kinds of other issues in the workplace that aren't particularly conducive to productivity. Consequences for the harasser in a sexual harassment case can be extremely severe, starting with losing your job. If you're accused of sexual harassment, you could lose your job, and that's the bottom line. And I don't think that there is a captain out there that's going to jeopardize their license to save you. But losing your job is just the beginning. The harasser might simply be cut lose by the employer and left to defend himself or herself. The harasser can even be sued personally, with mounting court costs and legal fees that could ruin him or her financially. It could mean the loss of your home, the end of your marriage. And when it comes to finding a new job, after word gets out, don't expect it to be easy. It's a very small field that we work in. These incidents can be brought back to your institution, brought back to your company, and it can really affect your reputation. It can really hurt you. It can actually end a career. So when you think through the consequences, which include job actions up to and including termination, the financial impact of being sued personally, and the difficulty of finding a new job after word gets out, why even risk it? [MUSIC PLAYING] I think when a victim is sexual harassed on-board, everyone knows about it. Even though you think that it's not known, everyone does know about it. Depending on the severity of the harassment, the victim of sexual harassment can have sometimes some very devastating emotional consequences to it-- psychological treatment, inability to work. If you feel that you have been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, the first thing you should do is keep a record of the harassment. It's really important when something occurs to report it, to write it down, the date and the time, and keep a record of what's happening. And while every company or institution has its own particular policy, all policies include the following general principles. The individual has to keep a log. It's important to document what has taken place and be prepared to share that with the supervisor, whether it be the human resource department or your immediate supervisor. And let them know that this is a serious situation, and that it needs to stop. It's important to not hide behind it or to feel that you're not at liberty to discuss it with anyone. It's important that it be taken seriously and taken up with the management right away. Any good sexual harassment policy has a provision this tells the employees that if they are harassed, if they feel like they are the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, that they not only can but they should, and must, report the harassment to a supervisor, whoever they feel comfortable with. If they're not comfortable with their immediate supervisor, then they can go up the chain to the captain or to the HR department at the home office on land, as far as that goes, as well. They're encouraged to report, and they are required to report. Let's say, as a crew member, you've noticed that a coworker is behaving badly, in a way that could be seen as sexual harassment. What should you do? What steps should you take? If you are a crew member and you see something or hear something, I think it's very important to address it right there with those other crew members. Definitely that person who is standing by and watching and hearing this abuse go on, they have to step in and do something. They can't allow it to go on. But what if that doesn't work? What if the bad behavior does not stop and the harassment continues? If you're a witness to a sexual harassment occurrence, or you see something that's not appropriate, you have a responsibility to notify your director, your captain, your chief engineer that this is taking place and that you want to stop-- you want to prevent this from going any further. Sexual harassment on-board must be addressed, must be reported-- and not just by the victim, but by any crew member who sees it on-board. Now, as you were watching this program, if you find yourself thinking, have I maybe crossed the line of bad behavior? Could I be accused of sexual harassment? What should you do? First thing you should do is stop your behavior. This behavior is not acceptable. It's not legal. It shouldn't continue. And it needs to start right away. If you think you could be accused of sexual harassment-- Probably the first thing to do is to stop doing that, to stop that behavior. Apologize might be a good thing to do as well. If the relationship between you and the person that you think you might have been harassing has soured in a way that you probably shouldn't even approach that person, then the next thing to do would be to go tell your supervisor, look, I think we're having this problem. This is what I did. I'd like to solve it. I need to report it to you. And let the employer take it from there. When it comes to sexual harassment on-board, whether you're a victim, or a witness, or a crew member who has maybe crossed that line, the best thing to do is to deal with the issue immediately, to make sure it stops, and to avoid all of the expense, pain, and disruption of a sexual harassment claim going to court. [MUSIC PLAYING] The best way to avoid costly and disruptive sexual harassment claims is to prevent harassment from happening in the first place. For a crew member, this means avoiding behavior that might be viewed as sexual harassment by the target of your attention. And remember, it's not what you think that counts. It's what the victim thinks that really matters. You may want to be careful about joking and teasing that goes on on a ship. It's not uncommon to pick up a joke and run with it for two or three days or two or three weeks and have it build up build up and build up. And it can become a problem for that individual who's receiving the brunt of those jokes. A good rule of thumb is this. Think before you speak. If the joke or remark seems inappropriate in any way, then it probably is inappropriate. And then ask yourself, is this something I would ever say to my daughter or my spouse? If the answer is no, then keep it to yourself. Another good rule of thumb is to avoid dating coworkers on-board. Time and time again, romantic relationships on-board have ended up with sexual harassment claims. Supervisors and subordinates engaging in romantic relationships-- once the romantic relationship ends, the relation changes to supervisor and subordinate again. It's very different. It's perceived as different. And it could be perceived as retaliatory, and often is. It's always a good idea to review the policy of your company or institution to help prevent sexual harassment. But remember, the responsibility for avoiding a sexual harassment claim lies with you. Be careful with your comments and your behavior to prevent the sexual harassment claim from happening in the first place. [MUSIC PLAYING] As the management of a company or a port office, your first responsibility is to the safety and welfare of your employees, your crew members. You want to protect your folks who are working for you. And you also have a responsibility and a concern over having it go to a lawsuit, which can be extremely costly for the company, disruptive to the organization, and cause lots of problems. If we can educate people on-board about, really, what is sexual harassment and the definition of it, and they get a clear idea of where are those boundaries on-board-- and it's all about, really, just treating people fairly. Sexual harassment. In this program, we've looked at areas of bad behavior, legal definitions, false myths, and serious consequences. And we've learned about reporting and preventing sexual harassment in the first place. Now it's your turn. Do your part to stop sexual harassment and to help make your vessel or maritime workplace safer as a result. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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Duration: 23 minutes and 5 seconds
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Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
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Posted by: maritimetraining on Feb 8, 2017

Sexual-Harassment-Prevention

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