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It's time for Milwaukee companies to address sexual harassment

The editor of the Milwaukee business news publication BizTimes says it is time for area business owners and managers to ask themselves a couple of important questions. First, is anyone in your firm creating a hostile working environment for women?

Second, is your company ready to deal with a sexual harassment complaint from one of your employees? Editor Andrew Weiland writes that it is time for your company to acknowledge the #MeToo movement and assess its harassment policies and processes.

Though most of the headlines in recent months about sexual harassment have swirled around big names in Washington DC, Hollywood and national media, Weiland writes that "sexual harassment is a problem in many of our workplaces in the Milwaukee area, as well."

He said evidence is in the recent results of a survey of women’s networking group TEMPO Milwaukee members. Two-thirds of responding TEMPO members said they have experienced sexual harassment while working.

Weiland writes that the results are not surprising, but are nevertheless "alarming and disturbing." Some of the tales of harassment shared by TEMPO members "were, quite frankly, nauseating," he added.

Jennifer Dirks, president and CEO of Tempo Milwaukee, said the survey results "should serve as a wake-up call to Milwaukee’s business community."

Weiland said it's time for area business leaders to be clear that sexual harassment won't be allowed and that there will be consequences for those who engage in it.

It should be noted that one of those consequences can be a legal claim filed by the victim. With the help of an experienced employment law attorney, businesses can be held accountable for hostile work environments, sexual harassment and retaliation against victims.


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