Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Sexual harassment prevention 101: NO STRIP CLUBS

Last month, the EEOC held a public meeting on preventing workplace harassment. Entitled, Revamping Workplace Culture to Prevent Harassment, it's the agency's second meeting since forming its Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace, and its first in the #MeToo era.

The EEOC discussed the need for employers to take a holistic approach to change workplace culture to prevent harassment.

Somehow, the EEOC missed "No strip clubs for employees" as one of its anti-harassment talking points.

Under Armour did not get this #MeToo memo until very recently.

According to The Wall Street Journal, earlier this year Under Armour sent its employees an email advising that the company was ending its longstanding practice of employees charging visits to strip clubs on their corporate credit cards. It appears that over the years, executives and employees, including its CEO, took athletes or co-workers to strip clubs after some corporate and sporting events. Not surprisingly, according to the WSJ, "some top male executives violated company policy by behaving inappropriately with female subordinates," and "women were invited to an annual company event based on their attractiveness to appeal to male guests."

The Journal goes on to quote Under Armour Chairman and CEO Kevin Plank, "Our teammates deserve to work in a respectful and empowering environment.… We can and will do better."

No kidding.

Bravo, Under Armour, for taking such a brave stance on your anti-harassment, pro-female culture. Prohibiting employees from using expense accounts at strip-clubs is not something about which a company should need reminding. It's something it should have been doing all along.

Employers, you better "do better," because we are all watching.

* Photo by James Walsh on Unsplash