Workers are being warned not to recreate scenes and imitate behaviour from US sitcoms and TV shows at office Chrismas parties after a rise in complaints about sexual harassment stunts.
The Resolution Centre, which offers human resources services to more than 2000 Australian companies, said complaints had increased in the past 18 months after a five-year decline.
Managing Director, Katherine Graham said US sitcoms and TV shows were increasingly affecting workers’ behaviour.
“Clients have notices American sitcoms, which are very liberal in the way they speak and not very real-world, are desensitising people in the workplace.” Graham said.
“In particular, they talk about Boston Legal, which is very crass in its speech, which is unusual for a legal environment.”
Graham said there had also been a gradual rise in the number of men making sexual harassment complaints and more instances of same-sex harassment.
However, the bulk of complaints still involved mail behaviour towards female workers.
She said that, although large corporations put measures in place to prevent bad behaviour at work functions, small to medium businesses were less likely to have policies in place.
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