As Halloween approaches, companies should be cautious of the season’s inevitable rise of sexual harassment ghosts and goblins – they appear this time of year, every year – without fail – so be on the look out!
ATLANTA, GA (PRWEB) October 30, 2013
Deena Pargman, Ph.D., founder and CEO of DB Pargman Consulting LLC, cautions companies at the opening of the annual “Harassment Season.” “It is the scariest time of the year for potential harassment complaints,” Pargman warns. “As Halloween approaches, companies should be cautious of the season’s inevitable rise of harassment ghosts and goblins – they appear this time of year, every year – without fail – so be on the look out!”
As the nation’s leading provider of Harassment Prevention and Sensitivity Training for over fourteen years, Dr. Pargman highlights a pattern: the complaints and lawsuits that will be filed against companies early next year have their roots in incidents that take place between Halloween and Christmas of this year.
Opening Day of Harassment Season begins when the normal and customary company dress codes are put aside for Halloween dress-up (or often, dress-down). Dr. Pargman points to a recent feature on The Daily Show where John Stuart observed that “overtly sexy Halloween costumes are an undeniable trend."
Dr. Pargman suggests a quick look at any Halloween Costume website to illustrate the "sexy Halloween" trend. "I'm not saying 'sexy Halloween' cannot be fun, but I am saying, it does not belong at the office or a party where you are likely to see your colleagues."
Dr. Pargman reminds clients that the holidays can and should be a fun time to celebrate the accomplishments of the past year, connect with colleagues and express gratitude. However, in order to reduce costly complaints and lawsuits next year, she recommends the following proactive steps as the Harassment Season opens this week:
> Announce a Halloween dress-up policy and remind your people that Halloween costumes should also comply with the general level of professionalism associated with your regular dress code.
> Check your Harassment Policy public reminder posters – are they still posted in the break rooms where you put them?
> Send out email reminders multiple times during “Harassment Season” reminding people of your company’s Anti-Harassment policy and where they can find it.
> Print a reminder message on the stub section of paychecks reminding employees to keep the company Anti-Harassment policy in mind with the joys of the holiday season.
> If you are still shaking from fear of what happened at last year’s company party, consider limiting or eliminating alcohol this year.
> Plan a group Harassment Prevention and Sensitivity Training Session with managers and executives right smack in the middle of the Harassment Season to remind managers and leadership of their responsibilities and the risks associated with the season.
As Halloween approaches, 'spirits' will be working overtime doing their part to make sure HR and legal departments are busy with expensive and distracting harassment complaints next year. Chances are the complaint will involve activities that will take place during the Harassment Season that opens with Halloween. However, with a few proactive steps, the beginning of the Harassment Season does not have to be so scary.
DB Pargman Consulting LLC is the nation’s leading provider of One-on-One Executive and Sensitivity Training and headquartered in Atlanta. When a complaint occurs involving a highly valuable employee or executive, DB Pargman provides prompt and remedial responses for companies facing harassment and diversity sensitivity complaints. To help prevent harassment before it occurs, DB Pargman provides best in class preventative Group Anti-Harassment Training Programs.