In light of the the Matt Lauer sexual harassment scandal, NBC has issued some very restrictive rules regarding conduct between employees. This includes very strict rules on relationships, harassment and even sharing a cab ride. What are included in the rules and how does this affect relationships between co-workers at NBC now?
According to Page Six, who spoke to an unidentified source, yet not to the station, NBC has rewritten their previous rules on sexual harassment. They now encompass more areas where a seemingly innocent action could lead to an inappropriate relationship, or a harassment accusation. They now have a “zero tolerance” policy with their new anti-sexual harassment rules.
For example, there are precise rules on how NBC wants their employees to give another employee a hug. The employee can give a brief hug to the other person, then release immediately, giving plenty of distance between both people and avoiding any “body contact.”
Most of all, the rules are very concerned with any secretive relationships. The paper states that no relationship between employees can occur and they are counting on anyone who is aware of anything inappropriate between two people to “snitch.”
Should they come into knowledge of any “affairs, romances, inappropriate relationships or behavior in the office” they are expected to contact their supervisor, the anti-sexual harassment hotline or human resource.
Anyone who has prior knowledge of any of these behaviors, and has not snitched, will be fired from NBC. Keeping their coveted NBC job will certainly take away any sort of guilt an employee could possibly have should they find themselves with some important knowledge that forces them to snitch or get fired.
The rules on “socializing” are now set and very precise. The new NBC anti-sexual harassment policy now does not allow two colleagues to share a cab, and perhaps one of the most unusual rules, a vegan colleague cannot be taken to a steakhouse.
Page Six requested, but did not receive a comment regarding the new rules from NBC representatives.
The Matt Lauer firing over sexual harassment allegations has certainly put a critical eye on the work culture of NBC. According to the Daily Mail, Andy Lack, the Chairman of NBC News has been on the critical firing line, and in turn, has promised to make some cultural changes.
Lack has already promised that employees will need to all take anti-harassment training. He also promises a “cultural assessment” of the news division, that includes The Today Show, where Matt Lauer worked as a $25 million dollar a year host.
Page Six reports that 40 employees were interviewed prior to Matt Lauer’s firing for “inappropriate sexual conduct,” leading to NBC’s need to dramatically change the work culture.