May 10, 2021
In today’s episode of
Int-HER-rupt, Linda and guest Marybeth Bonnar address
sexual harassment in the workplace. With a long career in human relations (and
the current HR manager for a $700 million company), Marybeth has
done just about every HR task imaginable, from recruitment to
termination and everything in-between. Marybeth has had people come
to her with sexual harassment issues, and she wants people to know
how to mitigate problems and keep themselves safe.
But first, what classifies as inappropriate behavior,
and when does it become harassment?
- Inappropriate behavior in the workplace is
anything that makes anyone feel uncomfortable. It could be a minor
issue, like bullying. Or it could be more serious, like sexual
- Harassment is anything inappropriate with a
sexual nature, like gestures, a request for favors, or maybe even
something perceived to be funny. And, of course, the blatant quid
If someone feels uncomfortable, how can they stop
- It’s important to remember this is not a
strictly male-harasses-female phenomenon. It can happen to and from
- If you’re uncomfortable, tell the person
performing the action.
- If you don’t feel like you can, go to a
supervisor or HR department for support.
- Some companies even have an anonymous hotline
that allows you to alert the necessary parties without disclosing
What if you aren’t getting the help you
- Look to a colleague to help, and keep going
higher up the chain of command until someone takes you
- Once you’ve exhausted the people within your
company, you should get an attorney and file a harassment claim
against your company.
- If this is happening to someone you know,
encourage them. Because it isn’t their fault.
- There are support groups for people to help
each other going through sexual harassment
Marybeth believes three out of every four sexual
harassments go unreported. Why does this happen?
- Many people don’t report their situation out of
shame. They don’t know how to handle the situation and don’t want
people to know about it.
- They might be afraid of retaliation and worry
for their safety or their feeling of control over the
- Lastly, they might not want to sacrifice their
Marybeth’s parting advice, and has she ever been
- If a situation feels wrong, it probably
- Ultimately, you deserve respect, and you need
to enforce your boundaries.
- For Marybeth, COVID was a huge interruption to
- While the pandemic made her shift both her work
and home mentality, she worked through it.
- In the end, she tries to be a positive person
and make the most of every opportunity. Bitter or better - that’s
Do you have more stories to
tell? Connect with Linda on LinkedIn. This podcast is produced by TSE Studios. Check
out other podcasts by the TSE Studios, including
The Sales Evangelist and
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