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State Law Updates | Oct 23, 2019

Protection from Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Protection from Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Training is the best defense –The topic of sexual harassment is on the rise.

Sexual harassment in the workplace can have a toxic effect on a business’ brand and culture leading to low employee morale, reduced productivity, and even criminal liability.

What is sexual harassment?

According to the EEOC, “harassment does not have to be of an obvious sexual nature, however, it is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person’s sex.

 

Harassment can include ‘sexual harassment’ or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.” For example, it is illegal to harass a man or woman by making offensive comments about men or women in general.”

This topic has become so important that different states, such as New York and California have deadlines for mandatory sexual harassment training!

For example, On August 30, 2019 the state of California amended the ruling for employers with 5 or more employees to provide at least 2 hours of sexual harassment training to supervisory employees and at least 1 hour to all non-supervisory employees within 6 months of their starting the position. It is important to also note that this training must be retaken every two years.

Some important statistics.

  • 1 in 5 Americans have been subjected to physical violence, bullying, harassment or sexual harassment at work in the past year.3
  • The average “payment for defense and settlement charges to resolve an employment claim” is $160,000.4

 

Train your workers to handle hot topics to avoid turnover

It’s important for both employers and emplolyees to have proper training regarding sexual harassment and learn the benefits of and strategies for promoting a respectful work environment that is free of all forms of harassment, intimidation, and discrimination. This puts everyone on the same playing field with regards to procedures and expectation.

Using a Learning Management System (LMS) is an easy way to provide this training and sets the grocer up for success and less employee turnover.

In 2000, Dr. Blake Frank of University of Dallas, conducted research pertaining to turnover in the supermarket industry. He found that the annual cost of employee turnover, $5.8 billion, exceeded supermarket industry profits by 40 percent. This is troublesome and sexual harassment can play a big part in this.

Incorporate Bystander Training as well.

We believe that the best advocates for people are other people. Employees are frequently aware of problems before management, but often fail to report them. The EEOC advised employers to include training on bystander intervention. It is imperative that others speak up if they see inappropriate or uncomfortable behavior.

Use an anonymous tip line such as Manager’s HRHelp Line to handle sexual harassment tips in a legal, yet sensitive way and to avoid costly fines and lawsuits. This can save time and money for the company.

As an extra resource, feel free to display this helpful infographic in your workplace that can illustrate the facts :

5 Ways to Prevent Sexual Harassment on the Job.

(Click on the image to download)

Sexual Harassment Infographic

To learn more about MyHRCompli E-learn (LMS) and  how to prepare your employees for sexual harassment training, contact Chris Cooley of MyHRConcierge  at 1(855)538-6947 or visit www.myhrconcierge.com for more information.

 

 

The HR and business professionals at MyHRConcierge are here to respond to your questions and concerns, and keep small to medium-sized businesses compliant with federal and state labor laws. Delivering personal service to our Partners and Clients is the heart and soul of our business.