By all accounts Harvey Weinstein left a trail of sexual harassment, assault, and rape a mile and decades wide before being fired by his company's board of directors this weekend. The board claims it only just found out about Weinstein's behavior, but his excuse -- "I came of age in the 60's and 70's, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then." -- would appear to undercut that assertion.
And by many accounts, Weinstein's behavior, while abhorrent, is not unique in corporate culture. So what lessons can small business owners take from the scandal that the Weinstein Company board of directors may have missed? Here are a few:
By now, you should be well aware that even one sexual harassment lawsuit is one too many, both for your small business's brand and its bottom line.
The best way to deal with sexual harassment claims is to create a workplace where sexual harassment doesn't occur in the first place. Find out how.
And sexual harassment doesn't just happen in the office. With so many communication and productivity technology advancements allowing remote work and virtual offices, sexual harassment has also spread.
Alcohol has been dubbed a social lubricant. Unfortunately, it can also bring out some anti-social behavior. And booze is just one or the potential pitfalls at the annual office party.
Preventing sexual harassment at work means protecting employees, and in some cases you may have to protect them from customers.
Sometimes the best way to learn how to respond to a sexual harassment claim is to learn how not to respond to one.