Boundary Violations



Every individual has a unique moral principles and ethics that guide them to behave or act in a particular way. A dilemma ensues when a conflict in opinions arises. The workplace is often known for various forms ethical issues, especially sexual harassment. Conduct that constitute workplace sexual harassment often manifest in numerous forms such as verbal, nonverbal, physical as well as visual forms. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines sexual harassment as actions including undesirable sexual advances, solicitation of sexual favors as well as other verbal or physical behavior that are sexual in nature (Boland, 2006). Verbal harassment entails offensive jokes, which are sexual in nature, constant plea for sexual favors, unwelcomed and excessive flirting and compliments that are sexually oriented. On the other hand, physical sexual harassment includes physical touch that is sexually suggestive in nature. In this case, the licensed practitioner blatantly violates workplace ethics. His actions towards receptionist are tantamount to sexual harassment (Conte, 2010). First, when he makes comments about the receptionist’s large breast, he is committing verbal sexual harassment against the receptionist, who is evidently uncomfortable with his sexually agitated comments. Also, the licensee also commits physical sexual harassment towards the receptionist when he forces her to hug him against her will. He proceeds to press himself against her. Moreover, the practitioner becomes rude to the receptionist when she attempts to talk to him about the previous mishap. He threatens her to quit if she feels there is a problem. The practitioner is coercing the receptionist to yield in to his advances for sexual favors.

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Sexual harassment at the workplace can have serious implications for both the harassed and the offender. To begin with, the receptionist’s productivity is likely to be adversely affected. Sexual harassment usually leads to job dissatisfaction and disengagement (Gold, 2004). Consequently, the receptionist is likely to get withdrawn from her work and her performance might deteriorate because of the sexual harassment experience at the hands of the practitioner. The receptionist is also likely to experience deterioration in both emotional and physical health. To the practitioner and the organization, there is a looming legal battle. The receptionist might decide to sue the practitioner and the organization might be entangled with sexual harassment legal battle (Gold, 2004).


One of the main ways of preventing such sexual harassment from happening in future is probation. This form of punishment involves making sure that the practitioner knows what the receptionist finds offensive and is complaining about. Depending on the history of the offender, he might be placed under probation, counseling or issued with a written warning from relevant authority. Second, the practitioner can be suspended from practicing and his license withdrawn if the situation is found to be a habit.  Third, the practitioner can be directed to compensate the receptionist for the damages are a result of the sexual harassment. Last, the practitioner can be put in jail to deter him or others of the same character from repeating the offense in future.

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Sexual harassment as witnessed in this case has devastating impacts on the victims and the society as a whole. Other community members are likely to feel unsafe when individuals such as the practitioner are left to escape the consequences of their action. The society has more and moral principles that guide how individuals should interact and relate with each other. Any divergent behaviors from those that are readily accepted are perceived to be unethical. The practitioner clearly violated societal moral code of conduct by imposing himself in a sexual manner on the receptionist.

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  1. Boland, M. L. (2006). Sexual harassment in the workplace. Naperville, Ill: Sphinx Pub.
  2. Conte, A. (2010). Sexual harassment in the workplace: Law and practice. New York: Aspen Publishers.
  3. Gold, L. H. (2004). Sexual harassment: Psychiatric assessment in employment litigation. Washington, D.C: American Psychiatric Pub.
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