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    Office Conduct Regarding Sexual Harassment



    (November 18, 2009)

    If You Have to Ask, It's Offensive


    On the job, most us strive to find some balance between professional and personable behavior. On one hand, you have friends in the office and no one wants to spend the day in silence, in front of his or her computer. However, on the other hand, there are certain rules -- spoken and unspoken -- that guide conduct in the office.

    This is a line that is often crossed inadvertently in cases of sexual harassment. Though it can be malicious, many times, harassment is the result of an inappropriate joke which did not have the desired effect, or teasing which was not received as expected.

    The best guideline for office behavior is to play it safe. If there's a chance someone could be offended, save it for a situation where you know your audience. At the very least, the office is not the correct place to test out risque subject matter and behavior.

    Jokes, stories, pictures and comments shared between coworkers don't always come back to bite the offender. The plaintiff in sexual harassment cases can also be bruised by damaging material uncovered during the course of an investigation.

    This was the case in Pennsylvania's Seybert v. International Group Inc, where a sexual harassment plaintiff found herself facing content from her own work inbox.

    In October a federal judge denied a request by the plaintiff's lawyers asking that e-mails taken from her computer be made off limits to the defense. The e-mails, some of which contain sexual content, will be used to help determine whether or not Seybert would have actually been offended by her superior's conduct.

    In her defense, context will be taken into account. E-mails shared between friends and unwanted, offensive comments made before others are surely not the same thing.

    Still, if the e-mails in question contained similar humor and language to the alleged harassment, the defense might have a more solid case. They could argue that, while the context was inappropriate, the conduct itself should not have been shocking, given past conduct by the plaintiff.

    Remember the line that goes, "if you have to ask, it's too expensive?"

    Well, in cases of workplace conduct -- if you have to ask, it's too offensive.

    It's not a matter of censoring your sense of humor or disposition. Rather, it's matter of recognizing the times when it is inappropriate to fully indulge your inclinations. If you are the victim of such behavior, take a look at your own actions and make sure that you are exercising caution, even with friends.

    If you don't, you may find your own words and actions come back to haunt you.

    Article provided by Navarette Law Firm


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    Quote of the Day

    "I feel sorry for the person who can't get genuinely excited about his work. Not only will he never be satisfied, but he will never achieve anything worthwhile."
    - Walter Chrysler
       



    Holiday Job Hunting Can Reap Rewards


    (November 16, 2009)

    Job hunters who persevere over the holidays have a unique opportunity to stand out from others who put off their job hunts until the New Year, according to job search portal CareerCast.com. Rather than take time off while company recruiters (like everyone else) slow down their hiring efforts from Thanksgiving to New Year's, job seekers should ramp up their search, the site reports.

    To stay motivated, job seekers should realize that the common perception that hiring falls off during the holidays is a myth. Candidates who buy into that belief remove themselves from the job market needlessly. And if a large number of candidates make that assumption, it actually opens up more opportunities for those who don't.

    "In today's poor economy, job seekers should not take the holiday season off," says Tony Lee, publisher, CareerCast.com. "By doubling your efforts over the holidays, at a time when many other job hunters are focusing on activities other than job hunting, you increase your odds of finding a new position."

    To keep yourself motivated from now to January, CareerCast.com offers five reasons to focus on an active holiday search:
      1) Less competition. Not only do many candidates withdraw from the job market over the holidays, but those who are considering a job change usually stay put into the New Year to make sure they receive bonuses and vacation time they've accrued through the year.

      2) Hiring managers are easier to reach. Hiring decision makers are less likely to be traveling as the holidays approach. Instead, they're focused on finishing projects, cleaning out files, meeting with colleagues and attending holiday gatherings.

      3) The holiday spirit pervades. Everyone is a little happier at the holidays, so leverage that good will to your advantage when trying to schedule interviews. Keep your networking up contacts are often more available and willing to meet as work demands slow down, helping turn short discussions into long-term opportunities.

      4) Get a jump on January. People who start work early in the New Year had to interview for that job in November or December, not in January. And for companies that review their staffing needs in January each year, you'll have a head start in case a need arises quickly.

      5) Avoid the rush. The New Year is full of reminders to start fresh, turn over a new leaf and set new career goals. Beat all of those to the punch by maintaining your job search through the holidays, and you'll be on board by the time others are making their first calls.
    For more information, visit CareerCast.com.

    About CareerCast.com
    CareerCast.com, created by Adicio, is a job search portal that offers extensive local, niche and national job listings from across North America, job-hunting, career-management and HR-focused editorial content, videos and blogs, and provides recruiters with the ability to post jobs directly to more than 600 niche career sites. CareerCast.com also compiles the Jobs Rated Report (www.jobsrated.com), where 200 jobs across North America are ranked based on detailed analysis of specific careers factors.


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    "Weekends don't count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless."
    - Bill Watterson
       



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