Understand Your Legal and Ethical Responsibility in the Prevention and Intervention of Sexual Harassment
There have been other online social hashtag movements about sharing stories of sexual violence (each was also started by a woman of color), including #MyHarveyWeinstein, #YouOkSis, #WhatWereYouWearing, and #SurvivorPrivilege, but #MeToo has become the most widely used around the world
Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, Al Franken, Garrison Keillor, members of Congress, and various State law makers have been accused of sexual harassment and/or sexual assault. What exactly is sexual harassment? How is it different from sexual assault? Questions and confusion abound with the current seismic national—and international—tsunami of women coming forward to disclose their victimization. The #metoo movement is providing a platform for women’s voices to be shared as they tell their stories.
But it is not only famous powerful men, such as celebrities and law makers, who sexually harass women (and sometimes men), powerful men (and occasionally women) in every industry may find they either have in the past, or are currently guilty of aggressive propositioning, touching, or telling off-color jokes. Sexual harassment exists at every level from universities, to workplaces, to healthcare and even in law firms. Antics or bad behavior such as this are unacceptable in the workplace and against company policy, but do these behaviors rise to the very high standard of illegal sexual harassment?
No matter one’s gender, everyone has the legal and ethical right to be free from sexual harassment and assault. So what prevention and intervention strategies have your organization created and implemented to address the epidemic of sexual harassment? Are those strategies working? According to the 2016 EEOC report on harassment in the workplace, 90% of those who say they were harassed never reported it or took formal action. Considering this sobering statistic, what will you do differently? Do you or your employer tolerate or ignore any employee who has a reputation for sexually inappropriate behavior. Perhaps he gets excused with comments such as “Oh, that’s just George, he doesn’t mean anything by it.” The EEOC also found that sexual harassment complaints are continuing to increase despite some organizations conducting sexual harassment training. They determined the type and format of training is largely ineffective.
The U. S. Supreme Court has stated that organizations must prevent sexual harassment from occurring in their workplaces. In this session, expert speaker Dr. Susan Strauss will outline strategies for preventing sexual harassment at your workplace. These prevention strategies will minimize your liability. Workplaces should be based on equality, respect and dignity. What are your workplace’s values regarding these three elements of equality, respect, and dignity? Supervisors are often the first line of defense in confronting sexual harassment; this session will outline who is a supervisor, which will surprise most of you. It is critical for every workplace to recognize what good sexual harassment entails: it isn’t a 20-30 online course, so what is it then? Are there actual times when an employer is responsible for sexual harassment that occurs outside the workplace? Susan will discuss those possibilities and answer these questions. This session will provide men (and women) guidelines on how to determine if their workplace behavior is appropriate.
- Differentiate between flirting and sexual harassment
- Differentiate between illegal harassment and psychological harassment
- Differentiate between bullying and sexual harassment
- Discuss the effective elements in your organization’s prevention strategy
- Review complaint procedures that must be incorporated into your harassment policy
- List the critical elements of sexual harassment training
- Identify the effects of sexual harassment on the target, the work unit, and the organization
- Discuss retaliation
- Identify the steps to take if you are targeted by a sexual harasser
- Explain management’s legal and ethical responsibility in the prevention and intervention of sexual harassment
- Explain what a supervisor “really” is
- Discuss whether sexual harassment can exist outside of work
- Examine men’s concerns regarding sexual harassment at work
- Discuss the steps to take if an employee complains about an “old” incident of sexual harassment
Who Will Benefit:
- Human resources professionals
- Team leads
- All employees