PUBLIC RELATIONS (Lesson 24 of 33)
It is never appropriate for the security officer to take it upon himself or herself to investigate such an incident unless he has been directed to do so. To undertake such an investigation could hinder what other steps or procedures the employer must undertake. The employer may already have a plan in place that requires someone other than the security department to investigate such allegations. For a security officer to go ahead and investigate such a complaint on his own could jeopardize the other investigation, thus having a negative impact on the outcome. If this happens, the employee may lose confidence in the efforts of the employer. Then the alleged suspect employee may not be treated fairly and the employer is at a further disadvantage in attempting to resolve the issue.
Other Things That A Security Officer Should Know:
Sexual harassment is not necessarily malicious behavior. It may be the result of carelessness, thoughtlessness, or ignorance. This does not make it any less offensive, but points up the importance for the security supervisor to be nonjudgmental. Repeating such activities after it has been explained that such behavior in inappropriate is more serious.
Not all allegations of sexual harassment are true. As with any incident, a security officer should never assume anything.
There is a difference between sexual attraction and sexual harassment. Sexual attraction is not a problem, so long as the employee exercises good judgment. Sexual attraction can become a problem in the workplace when an employee oversteps the limits of what is reasonable in the expression of that attraction. For example, if an employee expresses a personal interest in a fellow employee, and the other employee does not object to the behavior, and the behavior has no impact on either party’s work performance or the environment in which they work, it is not a problem. If, on the other hand, the person who is the object of the attraction does object, and the behavior does not stop as soon as the objection is known to the offending party, then the actions may constitute sexual harassment.