“BOYS IN THE BREAKROOM” – Sexual Harassment & Hostile Work Environment
Claire, a graphic designer at BlueStone Advertising, is doing some work in the break room, when Mike and Ben start sharing graphic details of Mike’s weekend escapades at a bachelor party.  Claire is clearly uncomfortable, but as a relatively new employee, she is afraid to makes waves, and her subtle attempts to shut their conversation down are unsuccessful.  When Angie, another employee, joins in with the boys, Claire reaches her breaking point and leaves the room.  In the hallway, she confesses to her colleague Lynette, that the “locker room talk” at work has been interfering with her ability to concentrate and get her work done. But when Claire expresses a desire to talk to management, Lynette warns her that any attempt to speak up would “end badly,” and Claire is left feeling confused and trapped.

Primary Questions Explored Through Facilitation

  • What is Sexual Harassment?  
  • What is Hostile Work Environment and how is it different from Quid Pro Quo?
  • What kinds of behaviors may be considered unlawful?
  • What kind of attitudes and values contribute to a work environment where sexual harassment is acceptable?
  • Why are some victims afraid to speak up?
  • What are the consequences of sexual harassment in the workplace? 
  • What are your organization’s policies around sexual harassment and where can you go for more information?  
  • Who can you talk to if you feel you are being harassed?
  • What can we do to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe, respected, and can do their best work?

“CAUGHT IN THE CULTURE” – Sexual Harassment (Includes Quid Pro Quo)
Becky, a young graphic artist, is thrilled when her supervisor selects her for a special project.  Not only will she be working with one of the company’s biggest clients, but the project will allow her to branch into web design, which is her real passion.  Her excitement wanes, however, when she finds out she will be working on a two-person team with Jake Peterson, a senior account manager whose flirtatious attention on her makes her feel uneasy.  Becky apprehensively agrees to the project, but when Jake’s comments and actions blur the line between business and pleasure, she finds herself increasingly anxious and unable to concentrate.  After seeking advice from a colleague, who warns her against contacting HR, Becky is faced with a difficult decision – should she endure Jake’s behavior to protect her career, or speak up and risk the consequences?

Primary Questions Explored Through Facilitation:

  • What is sexual harassment? How is Quid Pro Quo different from Hostile Environment?
  • What kinds of behaviors may be considered unlawful?
  • What kind of attitudes and values contribute to a work environment where sexual harassment is acceptable?
  • Why are some victims afraid to speak up?
  • What are the consequences of sexual harassment in the workplace? 
  • What are your organization’s policies around sexual harassment and where can you go for more information?  
  • Who can you talk to if you feel you are being harassed?
  • What can we do to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe, respected, and can do their best work?