Presidential contender Herman Cain’s reputation has been permanently soiled by the sexual harassment charges leveled against him. Whether or not he did it, there will always be a question in people’s minds. With two settlements in his past, it’s hard to side step the “where there’s smoke there’s fire” issue. Being accused of sexual harassment never goes away. While anyone can be falsely accused, every individual and organization should take proactive steps to ensure that claims aren’t made against you or your company.
Here are 13 tips to help protect you:
- Don’t do it.
- Treat everyone respectfully.
- Be careful when mixing business and socialization—particularly when alcohol is involved.
- Drop using those so called endearing terms such as “dear” and sweetheart.”
- Keep your hands off others and your body in your own orbit.
- Look people in the eyes – just the eyes.
- Don’t feel the need to share those funny, but a bit “off-color” jokes or stories.
- Don’t even think about asking out a subordinate for an after work drink or dinner.
- If you’ve got a problem in the love department, don’t feel the need to share it; and speaking of sharing, no one wants to hear about your dreams.
- If you need to hug, think spouse.
- Clean up your language, particularly your adjectives.
- No texting or emailing anything that is not work related and as for sexting, are you out of your mind even thinking about it?
- While at work, work!
Final tip: before you do anything, ask yourself “would I do this in front my mother?” Hopefully, that will keep you out of trouble and keep your reputation intact.