Hugs May Spread the Love, But They Also May Spread the Liability

September 21, 2015 – In The News

Jeffrey D. Polsky was featured in the article, “Hugs May Spread the Love, But They Also May Spread the Liability.” Full text can be found in the September 21, 2015, issue, but a synopsis is below.

Jeffrey D. Polsky provides insight on how to display affection in the workplace without being the cause of legal backlash.

According to Polsky, “All hugs are not created equal. They differ in terms of duration, force, hand placement and extent of body contact.” He goes on to explain that, “If you must hug, try doing so from the side, where the person puts an arm around the other’s back and shoulders. However, it’s important to understand that not everyone likes to be touched, especially by co-workers and bosses.”

He also explains the importance of understanding body language, stating, “If someone folds their arm when they encounter you, don’t hug you back, or become rigid when you go in to hug him or her, listen to the body language.”

Polsky believes that consent is a considerably important factor as well by mentioning that, “To make sure a hug is consensual, you can either look for implied consent, which could be characterized as the person standing with open arms or oral consent, in which he or she states that a hug would be nice.”