|Oct 10 2017||
Sexual Misconduct in Workplace
By: Rob Lynn
With the recent news regarding movie producer maker Harvey Weinstein’s various sexual harassment and rape allegations, I was reminded of an HR article I read called “The Al Capone Theory of Sexual Harassment” which was put forth by the co-founders of The Seattle Attic Community Workshop.
Remember that US Special Agent Eliot Ness picked up on a pattern in the Al Capone case that he was failing to pay taxes on the proceeds he received from smuggling booze. And so Al Capone went away for tax evasion and not for the murders he had ordered. Similarly, employees who engage in sexually predatory behavior also have faked expense reports, plagiarized or taken credit for other employee’s work, exaggerated their resume, embezzled or broke other company policies. All of these behaviors are the actions of someone who feels entitled to other people’s property -- regardless of whether it’s someone else’s ideas, work, money, or body.
Organizations that understand the Al Capone theory of sexual harassment have an opportunity as they know that reports or rumors of sexual misconduct are a sign they need to investigate for other incidents of misconduct, sexual or otherwise. Sometimes sexual misconduct is hard to verify because a careful perpetrator will make sure there aren’t any additional witnesses or records. So, when looking into allegations regarding sexual misconduct, become the Human Resource departments Eliot Ness by taking a wider look at the employee’s conduct and bring your Capone to justice.
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