Bradley attorney Mark Hanley was quoted in SHRM on training employees to prevent workplace harassment in the wake of numerous allegations of sexual harassment in the news and the launch of the EEOC’s online system for registering harassment and discrimination complaints.
In addition to hundreds of millions of dollars paid out in settlements every year, "sexual harassment causes low employee morale, high job turnover, increased sick leave, decreased productivity and reputational loss," said Hanley. While written sexual harassment policies are a must at every organization, "preventing sexual harassment involves much more from the top down. Prevention starts with an attitude by top-level executives that they will not tolerate any form of harassment," he added.
Leaders must be committed to a zero-tolerance policy against sexual harassment or a written policy will have little effect. "Once employees know that top-level executives are committed to the company's policies prohibiting harassment, the company needs to train their managers and employees on that policy," Hanley said. "The EEOC recommends 'an employer should ensure that its supervisors and managers understand their responsibilities under the organization's anti-harassment policy and complaint procedures.' Best practices dictate that such training take place upon hire and at least every year thereafter."
Investigations of sexual harassment complaints should be thorough and immediate, and employers should "take prompt and effective remedial action based on the investigation," Hanley said. And "if an employee does complain, don't retaliate."
The complete article, “Consider Face-to-Face Training as EEOC Makes Filing Harassment Complaints Easier,” appeared in SHRM on November 28, 2017.