FAQs for Employees

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.

For it to be sexual harassment, the conduct of the offender must be considered by the recipient offensive and unwelcomed.

The harasser can be a person’s supervisor, an agent of the employer, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or a non-employee.

It can be a woman or a man.

The victim does not have to be of the opposite sex of the harasser.

There are two types of Harassment:

(i) Quid Pro Quo and
(ii) Hostile Work Environment

Quid Pro Quo:
Sexual harassment that occurs when a supervisor or a person in an authority position requests sex, or a sexual relationship, in exchange for not firing or otherwise punishing the employee, or in exchange for favors, such as a promotion or a raise.

Hostile Work Environment:
Harassment becomes unlawful where
1) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment, or
2) the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.

Offensive conduct may include offensive jokes, slurs, epithets or name calling, physical assaults or threats, intimidation, ridicule or mockery, insults or put-downs, offensive objects or pictures and interference with work performance.

Petty slights, annoyances, and isolated incidents (unless extremely serious) will generally not rise to the level of harassment, but we encourage you to report them as well through #NotMe.

To be unlawful, the conduct must create a work environment that would be intimidating, hostile, or offensive to reasonable people.

Both men and women can be harassed.

Illegal sexual harassment can occur between people of the same sex.

Sexual harassment can occur outside of the workplace, if behavior happens at a work-related event.

Supervisors or those in authority positions are not the only ones who can be harassers. A harasser can be a coworker and, in some cases, a third party such as an agent or client of the employer.

In any event, always report using the #NotMe App – even if you a have a doubt. A #NotMe Team Member will contact and follow up with you.

Discrimination is the act of treating someone differently or unjustly based upon some characteristic. It refers to the treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit.

The law prohibits discrimination in any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.

(Source: www.eeoc.gov)

Age discrimination involves treating an applicant or employee less favorably because of his or her age. The law forbids age discrimination against people who are age 40 or older.

Generally, disability discrimination occurs when an employer or other entity treats a qualified individual with a disability who is an employee or applicant unfavorably because she has a disability. Disability discrimination also occurs when a covered employer treats an applicant or employee less favorably because he/she has a history of a disability (such as cancer that is controlled or in remission) or because he/she is believed to have a physical or mental impairment that is not transitory (lasting or expected to last six months or less) and minor (even if she does not have such an impairment).

The law requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee or job applicant with a disability, unless doing so would cause significant difficulty or expense for the employer ("undue hardship").

The law also protects people from discrimination based on their relationship with a person with a disability (even if they do not themselves have a disability). For example, it is illegal to discriminate against an employee because his/her spouse has a disability.

Equal Pay/Compensation
The law requires that men and women in the same workplace be given equal pay for equal work. The jobs need not be identical, but they must be substantially equal. All forms of pay are covered by this law, including salary, overtime pay, bonuses, stock options, profit sharing and bonus plans, life insurance, vacation and holiday pay, cleaning or gasoline allowances, hotel accommodations, reimbursement for travel expenses, and benefits. If there is an inequality in wages between men and women, employers may not reduce the wages of either sex to equalize their pay.

Genetic Information
It is illegal to discriminate against employees or applicants because of genetic information.

Definition of “Genetic Information”: Genetic information includes information about an individual’s genetic tests and the genetic tests of an individual’s family members, as well as information about the manifestation of a disease or disorder in an individual’s family members (i.e. family medical history). Family medical history is included in the definition of genetic information because it is often used to determine whether someone has an increased risk of getting a disease, disorder, or condition in the future. Genetic information also includes an individual's request for, or receipt of, genetic services, or the participation in clinical research that includes genetic services by the individual or a family member of the individual, and the genetic information of a fetus carried by an individual or by a pregnant woman who is a family member of the individual and the genetic information of any embryo legally held by the individual or family member using an assisted reproductive technology.

Harassment is a form of employment discrimination that violates the law.

Harassment is unwelcome conduct that is based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.

National Origin
National origin discrimination involves treating people (applicants or employees) unfavorably because they are from a particular country or part of the world, because of ethnicity or accent, or because they appear to be of a certain ethnic background (even if they are not).

National origin discrimination also can involve treating people unfavorably because they are married to (or associated with) a person of a certain national origin.

Pregnancy discrimination involves treating a woman (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth.

Race discrimination involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because he/she is of a certain race or because of personal characteristics associated with race (such as hair texture, skin color, or certain facial features). Color discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of skin color complexion.

Race/color discrimination also can involve treating someone unfavorably because the person is married to (or associated with) a person of a certain race or color.

Religious discrimination involves treating a person (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of his or her religious beliefs. The law protects not only people who belong to traditional, organized religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, but also others who have sincerely held religious, ethical or moral beliefs.

Religious discrimination can also involve treating someone differently because that person is married to (or associated with) an individual of a particular religion.

Sex discrimination involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of that person's sex.

Discrimination against an individual because of gender identity, including transgender status, or because of sexual orientation is discrimination because of sex in violation of Title VII. For more information about LGBT-related sex discrimination claims, see www.eeoc.gov

The EEO laws prohibit punishing job applicants or employees for asserting their rights to be free from employment discrimination including harassment. Asserting these EEO rights is called "protected activity," and it can take many forms. For example, it is unlawful to retaliate against applicants or employees for:
·filing or being a witness in an EEO charge, complaint, investigation, or lawsuit

· communicating with a supervisor or manager about employment discrimination, including harassment

· answering questions during an employer investigation of alleged harassment

· refusing to follow orders that would result in discrimination

· resisting sexual advances, or intervening to protect others

· requesting accommodation of a disability or for a religious practice

· asking managers or coworkers about salary information to uncover potentially discriminatory wages.

Unlawful retaliation can be any of the following (non-exhaustive list):

· change of schedule

· change in compensation

· change in job duties or responsibilities

· demotion

· termination

Participating in a complaint process is protected from retaliation under all circumstances. Other acts to oppose discrimination are protected as long as the employee was acting on a reasonable belief that something in the workplace may violate EEO laws, even if he or she did not use legal terminology to describe it.

Engaging in EEO activity, however, does not shield an employee from all discipline or discharge. Employers are free to discipline or terminate workers if motivated by non-retaliatory and non-discriminatory reasons that would otherwise result in such consequences. However, an employer is not allowed to do anything in response to EEO activity that would discourage someone from resisting or complaining about future discrimination.

According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, bullying at work means repeated, health-harming mistreatment of a person by one or more perpetrators. It is abusive conduct that is: threatening, humiliating, or intimidating, or work interference or sabotage which prevents work from getting done, or verbal abuse.

Bullying is driven by the bully's or perpetrator's need to control the targeted individual.

FAQs for Employers

The total costs paid by employers in fighting or settling sexual harassment cases are hard to determine. Indeed, employers often settle out of court with the victims signing Non-Disclosure Agreements.

Between 2010 and 2015, it would seem that employers have paid more than $700 million to employees alleging harassment through the EEOC administrative enforcement prelitigation process.

Sexual harassment settlements and court damages awards can be extremely hefty for employers.

Harassment creates financial costs for employers even when there is no official complaint or lawsuit filed as harassed employees are less productive.

#NotMe and its Dashboard are critical early detection tools that restore the missing but yet so much needed balance in our workplace by allowing women and men to safely and easily report conduct that they believe might constitute harassment, discrimination or bullying.

#NotMe and its dashboard help create an effective collaborative system among employees and their employer to protect employees from harassment, discrimination and bullying.

By implementing #NotMe, companies empower employees with a clear and secure pathway to report inappropriate behavior. This seemingly simple solution shifts the approach to workplace misconduct at a fundamental level, establishing a modern-minded and transparent work environment where harassment, discrimination and bullying are not tolerated and thus, less likely to occur.

In eliminating anonymity from its platform, #NotMe is the only work-centered reporting technology to further the conversation around harassment and other inappropriate workplace behavior. When employees are encouraged to own their experiences and openly use their voices against workplace misconduct, companies are able to more quickly and accurately take action against it. This is the first step in eliminating workplace misconduct entirely.

#NotMe makes having a difficult conversation easier. While ownership, accountability, and awareness are crucial in the fight to forge a better workplace culture, #NotMe recognizes the need to create a truly safe, and private space for victims of harassment, discrimination, and bullying in allowing remote, digital reporting. And because #NotMe is available in several languages, non-English speakers can also easily and discreetly report in their own language.

Companies that implement #NotMe are paving the way for a new level of transparency in the workplace. In establishing greater transparency surrounding misconduct in the workplace, #NotMe benefits both the employer and the employees.

#NotMe caters to corporations and individuals who are focused on the big picture: ending workplace harassment, bias, and bullying and transforming company culture for the better. From top management to entry level employees, everyone has an important role to play in creating a safer and more inclusive company environment. That’s why #NotMe implements certain standards to ensure all parties are protected and the most effective actions taken.

By providing an opportunity for employees to easily report it enhances the company's defensive posture if employees fail to utilize this easy and safe tool to report.

By categorizing and providing a rough grading system for conducts and behaviors, it helps the company prioritize on what must be addressed immediately. An employer can thus easily and swiftly protect the complainant.

By its unique approach to HR investigations (do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to receive more information about #NotMe’s unique approach to HR investigations).

The #NotMe dashboard allows for the possibility of an in-house tool for use by a company’s legal department in defending claims and allegations of harassment and discrimination (do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to receive more information on this point).