Inappropriate behavior in the workplace is not limited to the little cubicles where employees spend time between the hours of 9-5. Misbehavior can happen in any work environment, including the professional sports arena. Case in point – Brett Farve, pro football player and spokesman for several major product companies, has been accused of sexually harassing a sports reporter and has been accused of doing the same to a massage therapist, both of whom worked for the New York Jets in 2008.
The allegations came to light thanks to the availability of technology and tabloid reporters. While not all employees are the subject of tabloid scrutiny, they may not have been as aware of the power of technology and just what can cause harm to their employment. Using a computer, cell phone or other current technology for inappropriate reasons within the workplace is a more common occurrence than people may realize. Sending ‘sext’ messages, inappropriate pictures, and even harassing message to co-workers can lead to serious consequences at work, not to mention the serious legal consequences that can follow.
Being on the receiving end of inappropriate behavior in the workplace often leads to stress and emotional turmoil. If you are apt not to report the behavior, it will likely continue. If you do report what is happening, it is possible to become the target of retaliation. While the allegations against Farve are still being investigated, the situation again brings to light the importance of employers taking a closer look at their employee handbooks and their protocols for inappropriate or harassing behavior in the workplace and the importance of victim’s having a safe outlet for reporting such activity without fear. The NFL has been taking the necessary steps to educate its players about expectations for appropriate behavior when on the field, in the locker room, or at the team headquarters, all of which are in essence a player’s workplace.