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Sexual Harassment: What You Can Do

Where can employers turn to learn how to create a practical and effective program for dealing with sexual harassment in the current environment? Help may be closer than you think.

Some readers of this newsletter are aware that your editor also writes a monthly column on labor issues for Material Handling & Logistics magazine. A year ago, I wrote two columns for MH&L containing detailed and practical advice for employers that continues to be timely.

One column was about how to create a sexual harassment policy and training program for your company. The other dealt with how to conduct a harassment investigation after a complaint is filed.

More recently, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission assembled a Select Task Force on Harassment to look into this growing problem.

Even before this year’s eruption of headline reports about celebrity abusers, about one-third of the 90,000 charges received by EEOC in fiscal year 2015 included allegations of workplace harassment.

Last year the EEOC task force released a report about sexual harassment in the workplace that presaged many of the same recommendations that employer attorneys are issuing today.

One recommendation is that organization train employees on what they should do – and not just focus on what they should not do.

In October of this year, the EEOC formally responded to the recommendations of the Sexual Harassment Task Force by launching two new training programs aimed at employers.

Linked here, they are Leading for Respect, which is intended to help train supervisors and executives, and Respect in the Workplace, a training course aimed at employees at all levels.

These voluntary courses are conducted by EEOC Training Institute staff at participating employer worksites. To schedule such training, contact your local EEOC Outreach Program Coordinator.

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