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Sexual Harassment

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by

Tess Kuenstling

on 21 November 2013

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Transcript of Sexual Harassment

SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Sexual Harassment in
the workplace
Definition of sexual harassment:
UNWELCOME sexual advances
requests for sexual favors
VERBAL or PHYSICAL conduct makes submission a condition of employment or a factor in employment decision
CONDUCT that creates an INTIMIDATING, HOSTILE or OFFENSIVE work environment
Experience some sort of sexual harassment in the workplace
12% received threats of termination
if they did not comply with requests
of harassers
Rates of formally reporting sexual harassment incidents
62% of companies offer prevention programs
97% have a written sexual harassment policy
31%
10%
5-15%
<5%
Sexual harassment and workplace discrimination costs US businesses (small and large) an estimated
64 BILLION DOLLARS
annually
Types of Sexual Harassment
Sexual demand by
someone in authority

or with the
ability to influence a decision

(benefits, job conditions, salary, etc)

Demand is perceived as condition of employment

If results in tangible employment action (TEA) there is an
AUTOMATIC EMPLOYER LIABILITY
Quid Pro Quo
Un
welcome sexual
conduct

(verbal or physical)
that is based on gender

Behavior from someone other than direct supervisor - managers do not discourage behavior

Executives,
even if not in contact with persons involved,
can be held liable
for hostile work environment claims
Hostile Work Environment
Legislative &
Case Law
Civil Rights Act of 1964

Prohibits discrimination
based on race, sex, national origin, or religion
.
Foundation for sexual harassment law in the US.
Case law further refined scope and depth
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (1980)
Criteria
for determining when unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature
constitutes sexual harassment
When an
employer
can be held
liable
Steps employers should do to
prevent sexual harassment
Sexual Harassment Legislative Law
Williams vs. Saxby (1976)
Discrimination includes retaliatory actions
Meritor Savings Bank vs. Vinson (1986)
"Voluntary" is not a defense
Employers are not always liable for sexual harassment of employees
Faragher vs. City of Boca Rotan (1998)
Employer can be held vicariously liable for the discrimination committed by a supervisor
Burlington Industries (1998)
Employers defense can include:
Employer acted quickly to intervene
Employee did not use protection established by employer
Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. vs. White (2006)
Retaliation is a form of harassment
Retaliation is not just condition of employment, if "materially adverse" it violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (1964)
<19 >19
US Firm Sizes

Firms Liable Under Civil Rights Act of 1964

Best Practices
Develop a positive work environment
Continually evaluate positive work environment
Speedy complaint process
Protect employees from retaliation
Encourage criticisms
Provide multiple methods for reporting violations
Both male and female
Employees sign off that they read, understand, and complied with policies
Adapt program peculiarities of organization
From Alexander, Pamela, Elmore Alexander, and Stepanie Warner. "Best Practices in Sexual Harassment Policy and Assessment." ARI Contractor Report 2005-01 (2005).
Sexual Harassment in the Military
Reporting
Prosecution of victims
Collateral misconduct
Immediate response
Decision to prosecute
Alarming Statistics...
26,000 people were sexually assaulted in military in 2012 *
Cases significantly under-reported: 13.5% cases are reported **
Only 8% of sexual assault cases are tried **
62% of women suffered "retaliation for speaking up" ***
Addressing Sexual Misconduct in the Military
Mandatory discharge of anyone convicted of rape
Remove oversight of sexual assault cases from military chain of command
Limit commander's ability to change or dismiss charges from sexual assault case
Sexual Harassment
in the Military
* Steinhauer, J. "Sexual assaults in military alarm Washington." New York Times. 7 May 2013.
**Ellison, J. "Military faces mounting pressure to crack down on rape." The Daily Beast. 14 Nov. 2011.
***Schwellenbach, N. "Fear of Reprisal: The Quiet Accomplice in the Military’s Sexual-Assault Epidemic." Time. 9 May 2013.
Burns, C. "The costly business of discrimination." Center for American Progress. March 2012.
Example of Sexual
Harassment
Best Practices to Stop
Sexual Harassment
Prevention & Response
Checklist
Negativity in the workplace causes the 3 L's
3L =
Low Morale
Low Productivity
Lawsuits
How to Receive a Complaint
Keep an Open Mind
Treat Complainer with Respect
Don’t Shoot Messenger
Don’t Retaliate
Follow Established Procedures
Educate Self
Investigating a Complaint
Interview People Involved
Look for Corroboration and Contradiction
Keep It Confidential
Write Everything Down
Cooperate with Government Agencies
Consider Hiring Private Investigator
Take Appropriate Actions Against Wrongdoers

"One of the most significant barriers to the reporting of a sexual assault is the victim's fear of punishment for some of the

victim's own actions leading up to or associated with the sexual assault incident
... Such behavior may be considered collateral misconduct, and may be viewed as a
contributing factor to the sexual assault
"
Based on Lisa Guerin’s book The Essential Guide to Workplace Investigations

"Sexual Harassment in the Workplace" from: http://www.workharassment.net/index.php/sexual-harassment-in-the-workplace.html
From "DoD Directive Type Memorandum (DTM)" http://www.sexualassault.army.mil/content/faqs.cfm
Prevention: EEO policy, personnel training,
and workplace monitoring
Full transcript