HLTH3500 Legal, Ethical and Policy Directions in Human Science

Added on - 11 Sep 2021

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Running head: Legal, Ethical and Policy Directions in Human Science
Legal, Ethical and Policy Directions
in Human Science
Task 3: Individual Reflection Report
Legal, Ethical and Policy Directions in Human Science1
Sexual harassment is referred to an unwelcome sexual request, advances and other
physical or verbal conduct which are sexual in nature, and they are conducted with a
purpose of violating the dignity of an individual by creating a hostile, humiliating, offensive
or degrading environment (McLaughlin, Uggen & Blackstone, 2012). I have realised the
negative impact of sexual harassment and how it is affecting individuals while preparing a
presentation on the topic with three other students. During our presentation, we conducted
thorough research on the topic to find out various aspects relating to sexual harassment
which include how it is affecting tourism and hospitability industry, morals and ethical
consideration relating to the issue, case studies, liability, awareness, education, and others. I
have realised that this is a major issue which is affecting many individuals and it is important
that appropriate actions are taken to address these issues. In this reflection, an evaluation
of the significant legal, ethical and policy issues related to sexual harassment will be
discussed. Furthermore, this reflection will focus on evaluating insight into group
functioning to determine how decisions were taken, group position and contribution of each
individual in the learning process.
While preparing for the presentation, I learned about various factors of sexual
harassments. Firstly, it is a multi-faceted phenomenon which is affecting a large number of
people across the globe. Both men and women are affected by sexual harassment; however,
usually, the victims are women. This issue is affecting people in all positions irrespective of
the fact whether they are in a senior managerial position or a lower level employee. The
issue of sexual harassment also includes indirect harassment which is difficult to report by
the victims. I found out that the tourism and hospitality industry has the highest number of
sexual harassment incidents than compared to other sectors as per the study of the
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work and the International Labour Office (Hoel
and Einarsen, 2003). Even after increasing the awareness regarding this issue at a global
stage, the number of incidents involving sexual harassment is increasing rapidly. The main
reason for high number of sexual harassment cases in tourism and hospitality sector is that
most people working in the industry belong from vulnerable groups of workers, women,
part-time employees and others who are unable to address this issue (Baum, 2013).
Legal, Ethical and Policy Directions in Human Science2
I have also found the action which should be taken by the victim in case of this issue.
As per the guidelines of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the victims
must directly inform the harasser to stop his/her misbehaviour. The victim can also use an
employer complaint mechanism which is available in the organisation in order to file a
complaint against the harasser. One of the key reasons for sexual harassment at the
workplace is mismatch in perceptions because male and female have different perspective.
The friendly nature of a female can be considered as a sexual cue by the male. On the other
hand, females have a broader definition of sexual harassment than compared to men
(O'Leary-Kelly & Bowes-Sperry, 2001). In workplaces, identifying and preventing sexual
harassment is not an easy task and many times, sexism is disguised in humour which allows
perpetrators to bypass the ethical guidelines established in the corporation for avoiding
sexual harassment. Avoidance/denial is another key factor based on which the victim did
not file a complaint against the sexual harassment which gives the confidence to the
harasser. The statistics show that 80 percent of female student doctor face sexual
harassment and over half of these incidents happen during the patient visit (White, 2000). I
have realised that sexual harassment is affecting my many social and cultural factors as well
because in most cases gender of parties defines their power, and this perception leads to
harassment of female or employees who belong from minorities (Ineson, Yap & Whiting,
2013). In gender oriented sexual harassment cases, it is clearly shown female colleagues are
more likely to face the issue of sexual harassment due to male dominance work culture
which makes it difficult for them to report this issue as well.
During my research, I have evaluated various legal, ethical and policy related issues
relating to sexual harassment in the tourism and hospitality sector. Firstly, in legal
consideration, it is seen that the majority of sexual harassment victims are females, and the
laws are implemented by considered this factor (Ram, 2018). The legal regulations
implemented to prevent sexual harassment prohibit all forms and types of sexual
harassment. In the case of Australia, the Federal and State discrimination statutes are
focused on explicitly treating sexual harassment as a factor based on which the
management cannot discriminate between employees. During my research, I realised that
the victims of sexual harassment cases have to face discrimination in the workplace as well.
Moreover, Sex Discrimination Act 1984 is a good example which provides provisions to
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