Hard to believe in this day in age that any organization would not have a sexual harassment policy nor train their employees in prevention. But that’s the case with the NFL and the New York Jets. And, as with most organizations that don’t take a firm position on this issue, they face a sexual harassment complaint and potential lawsuit.
Future Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre has been accused of sexual harassment and it turns out that neither the NFL nor the NY Jets provide regular training to players regarding the definition of sexual harassment and the actions that possibly will give rise to it. In fact, the Jets have no formal sexual harassment policy.
One of the alleged victims has stated she’ll sue if the league does not suspend Favre, and demands that the league put a program in place to prevent this from happening again.
Beyond the ugly headlines, tarnished reputations, and probable big dollar settlement, you have a situation which could have been prevented if the team and the league took the time to do the right things in the first place.
Any organization that fails to address the issue of sexual harassment is putting their organization at risk. The absence of a prevention program, training and a policy demonstrates a clear lack of sensitivity to the problem. The league and the team have put themselves at risk for failing to take proactive steps to prevent harassment from occurring.
If you care about your people, your organization, your customers, visitors and fans, you treat them with respect—and that means you put in place a strong Sexual Harassment Prevention program. It is that simple.