By ABA Media
With sexual harassment being in the news recently, The Insider posed the following industry question to several motorcoach and tour operators: What policies does your company have in place to make sure sexual harassment doesn’t happen in your workplace?
Here is what several industry folks had to say:
“Our policy covers harassment of any sort. It basically states that, ‘The company will not tolerate harassment of any type, whether it be sexual, religious, race, color, or creed. An investigation will be launched to determine whether a person accused of harassment is guilty. This person will be on unpaid leave until the conclusion of the investigation. If the person is found guilty of such acts of harassment, they are subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.’”
—Jim Lucas, CFO & Vice President Operations
Old Savannah Tours
“Before becoming a transportation consultant, I spent 10 years working with the local school district. In my years in the school bus industry, we had both men and women who were sexual harassers. It was equally just as bad on both sides. When I started working with Eastside Transportation Services, I found that it did not have an entire policy procedure manual. I started researching and put the policy together myself, and I believe it has worked well. We do an orientation for all new employees and drivers. The policy directs that any issues in this area go directly to the president. That has reduced a lot of conflicts, as well as his having an open-door policy and written steps regarding reprimands. After the orientation, all employees have to sign that they have reviewed the policy. I’m an old military man—you have to have a policy. Then you really have to spend time training your people. More importantly, you have to have signed documentation that they’ve been given the policy and that they’ve gone over it, and that creates a chain of command.”
—Robert Crocker, Tour/Safety Director
Eastside Transportation Services
“I could write a book on this. I had a sexual harassment case, but it was totally different. I had a female employee who was harassing my male employees. I have 56 employees and five are women. She would wait until the dispatcher had left the office. She’d park across the street in the dark and wait until a driver came in. Then she’d come over to the office where they’d clock out and she’d take off her shirt, and there’d be nothing [underneath]. She would taunt them, and they got scared. Some of them had already told me that they didn’t want to work with her, but none of them had come forward to tell me what was happening. One of the drivers had been with me many years, and he told me. I told him we would take care of this because she’s putting all of us in a very bad position and something needs to be done. [The next day when she came in] I was ready for her and told her she was not welcome here anymore, and she took her arm and wiped everything off my desk. [The former employee then filed suit alleging that male drivers had been harassing her.] It cost me $11,000 to clear myself, and we had testimony from all the drivers against her. The thing that saved me was that I had a written policy that I will not tolerate any sexual harassment, and that it is absolutely forbidden. She had signed it, and all the drivers had signed it, and that’s what saved me.”
—June Bratcher, Owner and President
Daisy Charters & Shuttles
San Antonio, Texas
Gary Moody, Vice President of Sales at ABA member Holiday Tours, shared his company’s policy on sexual harassment with The Insider:
“It is our company’s policy to prohibit harassment of one employee by another employee, supervisor, or even customers on the basis of sex (or because of any other personal characteristic, such as race, color, age, marital status, sexual preference, religion, or handicap). The purpose of this policy is not to regulate our employee’s personal morality. Rather, it is to ensure that, in the workplace, no one may harass another individual. For example, while it is not easy to define precisely what sexual harassment is, it certainly includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature such as uninvited touching or sexually related comments. Harassment can also include improper joking, teasing, or other conduct that creates an unprofessional and hostile environment.
“All members of the Company will be held accountable for the effective administration of this policy. Anyone who feels that he or she has been subjected to sexual harassment or who becomes aware of possible sexual harassment should immediately report the matter to the Chief Executive Officer, your supervisor, or to any other manager with whom you feel comfortable. Every report of actual or perceived harassment will be investigated and corrective action will be taken where appropriate. No one will be retaliated against for making any report under this policy.
“Violations of this policy will not be permitted and will result in discipline up to and including discharge.”
—Gary Moody, Vice President of Sales