I have seen the change over the years. In the 70's & 80's it was not unusual to hear men and women workers having a discussion about relationships and sex. Office romances were not uncommon and many led to marriage. It was fun to get together with co-workers after work at a pub or wine bar and have a relaxed and open discussion about all matters and it sometimes included a bit of sexual banter and innuendo. In the 90's it all started to change. The politically correct movement took over and conversations in the workplace between men and women were monitored by the thought police and associated wowsers. Office romance is a thing of the past and even healthy discussions about relationships including occasional references to sex are now off limits. The average workplace has become a safe and sterile environment. This latest obsession with sexual harassment is just a continuation of that process. Sure there is genuine sexual harassment that is wrong and should be called out but it is not as pervasive as the current hysteria would have you believe. Every comment made in the office is monitored for any hint sexual, racial, religious content. Gone are the days when you could express your view and it was anyone's right to agree or disagree and express their view. Now everyone just keeps their thoughts to themselves and gets on with work. It probably a misguided plot by big business to make the workplace more productive.
Many people spend more time at work than anywhere else and their professional and social networks may be closely linked. It is increasingly common for colleagues to start relationships or have close friendships that lead them to interact in more casual and comfortable ways that could violate sexual harrassment policies. These policies should focus on protecting people but not in a way that also takes away from an enjoyable work environment.
I think they have their place,but it seems like you can't do anything today and get a positive view on it. If the workplace would just relax it would do all of us a favor and help us relax. It's hard enough going to work thinking about doing a good job, its another to have to deal with this stuff.
No, sexual harassment laws do not place undue restrictions on the workplace, because they do not ban anything that people should not be doing anyways. Sexual harassment laws prevent people from talking about inappropriate things at work. This is only fair and reasonable. It makes the workplace a better place for everyone involved.
No, sexual harassment laws don't place undue restrictions on the workplace because they were designed to protect employees. There is no place for discrimination of any kind, and sexual harassment leads to a hostile work environment. In order to protect the rights of all employees, sexual harassment laws should be strictly enforced.
Sexual harassment and other sexual deviancy laws can go too far, and often burden people more than restore justice or punish criminals. At the same time, the work place is an important place to protect peopl ein, and it is appropriate that their are far reaching laws protecting people in several ways.