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Supervisor Training: Sexual Harassment
Transcript of Supervisor Training: Sexual Harassment
Question or Comments?
Contact Ascend HR Solutions at
Recognize what constitutes harassment
Understand legal implications of Sexual Harassment
Handle complaints effectively
Why Do I Need to Know?
Exposes the company to damaging and costly liabilities
Undermines Trust and Respect
Nearly 15,000 charges of sexual harassment are filed each year, resulting in more than $37 million in company charges
Sexual harassment complaints are not only filed by women; Complaints filed by men have more than tripled in recent years.
90% of harassment claims involve individuals who are not aware that their conduct is offensive or unwelcome
Both men and women at all levels may be both harassers and victims
Sexual harassment is against the law and violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
By the end of this training, you should be able to:
Take appropriate corrective action
Maintain a productive work environment
Recent Jury Awards
2013 - $1.5 Million - New Breed Logistics
2012 - $168 Million - Sacramento Mercy General Hospital
2011 - $10.6 Million - UBS
2011 - $36.5 Million - Aaron's Rent-to-Own
2011 - $3 Million - Jon Peters (movie producer vs. assistant)
2011 - $3-5 Million - Judge James Blackstock
What the Law Says About Sexual Harassment
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
What is Sexual Harassment
The EEOC defines sexual harassment as unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that:
Affects the term or condition of an individual's employment
Unreasonably interferes with an employee's work performance
Creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment
Sexual Harassment can be
Quid Pro Quo
Hostile Work Environment
"This for That"
Tangible Employment Action
Unlawful harassment that results in monetary loss or significant changes in someone's workload or assignment should he or she refuse a sexual request.
"Give me what I want...and I will take care of you."
"Don't give me what I want...and I will take care of you."
Behavior that makes a person feel inferior or uncomfortable to the point that they can no longer perform their job tasks.
The harasser creates an abusive, offensive, or intimidating environment for the harassee.
Sexually explicit pictures, calendars, or objects posted or shown in the workplace.
Regularly using dirty words, making sexual jokes, using obscene gestures, or making rude comments of a sexual nature.
Employees at ANY level
Clients or customers
Members of the same sex
a person who is a direct target of sexual harassment such as constantly being subjected to a co-workers sexual advances
Bystanders and Witnesses
if you witness acts of sexual harassment against a co-worker, you also may be protected under the law
Who is Liable?
Depending on the circumstances, an employer may be held liable for acts of sexual harassment committed by its supervisors, employees, and non employees
When is an Employer Liable?
An employer is always liable for a supervisor's harassment if the harassment culminates in a tangible employment action (firing, failure to promote, etc.)
If no tangible employment action results, the employer may be able to avoid liability or limit damages by establishing an affirmative defense, which is composed of two necessary elements:
The employer exercised reasonable care to prevent and correct promptly any harassing behavior
The employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of any preventive or corrective opportunities provided by the employer or to otherwise avoid harm
Your policy should:
Provide a clear statement of the company position against sexual harassment
Promote compliance and prevention by defining responsibilities
Protect your rights and foster respect for all
Familiarize yourself with your policy
Publicize your policy
Enforce your policy
Review your policy periodically
Allow employees to bypass the normal chain of command
Protect Everyone's Rights
Strike a balance between confidentiality and the need to investigate
It is unlawful for an employer to
against an individual for opposing discriminatory practices or for filing a charge, testifying, or participating in an investigation, hearing, or other proceeding under Title VII.
Employers should update their policies, procedures, and training to emphasize that
is prohibited against anyone who discloses discriminatory conduct while participating in any investigation.
To the extent possible, all claims should be treated with care in terms of protecting all involved parties' privacy
Victims of sexual harassment should be informed that the alleged harasser must be told of the complaint for the employer to effectively address it.
Keys To Remember
Sexual Harassment is against the law
It can be physical, verbal, and/or visual
It can harm everyone and can be very costly
Know, publicize, enforce, and review your Sexual Harassment Policy
Take all complaints seriously and act promptly
Reassure the Victim
Council the Alleged Harasser
Determine the Exact Nature of the Incident
Dealing with an Isolated Incident
Monitor the Situation Carefully
Employee filing the complaint
The alleged harasser
Whatever action you take,
it should not have an
adverse affect on the victim
Remedial Action to:
Stop the harassment
Correct its effects on the victim
Ensure that the harassment does not recur
Follow up with both parties
and monitor the situation
Sample questions can be found at the end of this presentation
Oral or written warning
Training or Counseling
Sample Investigation Questions
Conducting Investigations & Taking Corrective Action