In light of the attention on issues relating to harassment and the #MeToo movement, employers that do not take time to review policies and train employees might be at a disadvantage if claims arise.
In light of all of the attention that is being focused on issues relating to harassment and the #metoo movement, employers that do not take time to review policies and train employees may be at a disadvantage if claims ever arise. It is now more important than ever for employers to develop a better understanding of what constitutes harassment in the workplace, as well as how to prevent , recognize, and respond to harassment. Sexual (and other) harassment training is not just about reviewing company policies and telling employees how to report complaints. Training should be tailored for the specific workforce, in person, and promote respect and civility. It should be geared to help employees at all levels in an organization recognize harassment and when others are uncomfortable. In addition, employees that are responsible for receiving, investigating, and responding to complaints should be trained on how to properly fulfill these duties.
Harassment can occur both inside and outside of the workplace. Certain forms of harassment, such as a woman walking down the street getting cat-called by a stranger, do not implicate the workplace at all. However, if that same woman works for a construction company and is walking past other employees of the organization when she is cat-called by them, the same conduct may be workplace harassment and actionable. Not all harassment is immediately obvious, and answering the question “what is harassment?” can sometimes be a difficult task. Are you able to recognize it?
For more information on what is considered actionable harassment, visit The Williams Parker Labor and Employment Blog (www.williamsparker.com/LEblog).