2 IntroductionSexual harassment training is not required under federal law. However, many states have enacted legislation specifically requiring sexual harassment training. Even if not required in a state in which you operate, the Supreme Court's landmark decisions in the 1998 Faragher and Ellerth sexual harassment cases, subsequent court decisions and EEOC Guidelines make it clear that sexual harassment training is essential. To raise a defense or avoid punitive damages in sexual harassment lawsuits, employers need to show that they have provided periodic sexual harassment training to all employees.This sample presentation is intended for presentation to supervisors and other individuals who manage other employees. It includes detailed information on retaliation and employer liability that the sample presentation for general employees does not. It is designed to be presented by an individual who is knowledgeable in both sexual harassment and the employer’s own policy on sexual harassment. This is a sample presentation that must be customized to include and match the employer’s own policies and practices.
3 Objectives At the close of this session, you will be able to: Explain what sexual harassment isState why it is important to prevent sexual harassment in our workplaceUnderstand what retaliation is and help prevent retaliation claims by employees who complain of sexual harassment
4 Objectives (Cont’d)Describe the (name of company) policy and procedures on sexual harassmentUnderstand your responsibilities as supervisors for handling complaints and assisting in investigations and disciplinary action.
5 What is Sexual Harassment? Unwelcome sexual advancesRequests for sexual favorsOther verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that affects an individuals’ employment, unreasonably interferes with his/her work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
6 Two Forms of Sexual Harassment Quid pro quo (Latin for “this for that” or “something for something”)Hostile Work Environment
7 Quid pro Quo Tangible employment action against the victim Involves monetary loss or change in jobExample: Mary Smith receives smaller pay increase based on performance than other employees with similar performance because she refused to go out with her supervisor, John Doe.
8 Hostile Work Environment Speech or conduct that is severe and/or pervasive enough to create an abusive or hostile work environmentExample: Mike Maloney is leering (elevator eyes) at and intentionally brushing against Sally Davis
9 Hostile Work Environment (cont’d) In addition to speech and/or conduct, covers explicit or suggestive items displayed in the workplace that interfere with job performance or that create an abusive or hostile work environmentExample: Jill Jones has a 9” x 12” calendar of nude males on her cubicle wall visible to passersby.
10 Who can be involved in sexual harassment? Those who commit – employees at all levels, customers, members of the same sexThose who are targeted – victims, bystanders and, in some cases, witnesses who are affected by the harassment.
11 What is Retaliation?Retaliation is defined as an adverse action taken against an employee because he/she complained of harassment or discriminationAdverse action includes demotion, discipline, termination, salary reduction, negative performance appraisal, change in job duties or shift assignment.
12 What is Retaliation (Cont’d) Anti-discrimination laws prohibit employers from taking adverse action against employees for asserting their rights.When an employee complains of sexual harassment to you or to others in this company or to a government agency, you must not take any action that the employee may view as punishment or retaliation for filing the complaint.
13 Retaliation (Cont’d)To succeed in a retaliation claim, an employee must prove the following:That he/she engaged in a protected activity, such as complaining of sexual harassmentThat he/she suffered an adverse employment action, such as demotion, terminationThat the protected activity and adverse action are linked.
14 Retaliation (Cont’d) To avoid charges of retaliation: Document the reason for any adverse employment against an employee. Make sure that the documentation shows no discriminatory reason for the adverse action.Do NOT take any adverse action against an employee who has complained of sexual harassment without discussing with and obtaining approval from the HR Director.
16 Why it’s ImportantWhy is it important to prevent sexual harassment in our workplace?Sexual harassment harms us all. The most important part of our corporate values is to ensure all employees are treated with respect and dignity. Engaging in, condoning, or not reporting sexual harassment are in direct conflict with our values.Compliance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act which prohibits sex discrimination (including gender identity, change of sex and/or transgender status ).Compliance with similar state civil rights laws and fair employment laws.
17 Why it’s Important (cont’d) Liability for the employer may be under federal or state law or civil litigationThe company is always responsible for harassment by a supervisor that results in a tangible employment action such as a hiring, firing, promotion, demotion, change in pay or benefits, and work duties. This would be the Quid pro Quo type of sexual harassment.
18 Why it’s Important (cont’d) If the harassment does not result in a tangible employment action, the employer may still be liable unless it proves that:it exercised reasonable care to prevent and promptly correct any harassment; andthe employee unreasonably failed to complain to management or to avoid harm otherwise
19 Why it’s Important (cont’d) LiabilityMany state non-discrimination laws define “employer” to include individual supervisors, managers, or officialsIncreasingly there is risk of individual liability for these company individuals as many suits contain state law claims.
20 Limits on Damages Number of employees Maximum total of compensatory and punitive damages$ 50,000101 – 200$100,000201 – 500$200,000501 or more$500,000Note: When the EEOC pursues a claim for more than one person, the damage caps are applied to each aggrieved individual.
21 Sexual Harassment Judgments In Fiscal Year 2005, the EEOC resolved 12,859 sexual harassment charges in FY 2005 and recovered $47.9 million in monetary benefits for charging parties and other aggrieved individuals (not including monetary benefits obtained through litigation).
22 Sexual Harassment Judgments (Cont’d) One of largest and most publicized EEOC settlements:Mitsubishi (1998) - $34 million. EEOC sued contending that women on the assembly line in an IL factory were groped, insulted, and subjected to raunchy insults. Women also alleged male coworkers and supervisors kissed and fondled them, demanded sexual favors, and retaliated against those who refused.
23 Sexual Harassment Judgments (Cont’d) Another case:$3.5 million – Baker and McKenzie, world’s largest law firm. Secretary Rena Weeks accused partner and firm of creating a hostile work environment and failing to take steps against a partner. A series of women at firm had complained of partner’s sexual harassment but firm took no action against the partner. Firm actually transferred some of complainants and fired one.
25 Our Policy & Procedure on Sexual Harassment (Provide copies of your policy to all attendees and review all or most important components. You may also want to add most important parts of the policy and procedure to this presentation.)
26 Your Responsibilities as Supervisors Know and comply with our policy and proceduresImmediately report any complaint that you receive from your employees or incidents that you witness involving other supervisors’ employees to the Human Resources Director
27 Your Responsibilities as Supervisors (Cont’d) In handling sexual harassment complaints from your employees:Demonstrate your willingness to hear and objectively discuss complaintsInform the employee that you must report all complains to the HR Director.Tell the employee that confidentiality will be respected as much as possible but cannot be assured in order to investigate fully and properly
28 Your Responsibilities as Supervisors (Cont’d) Handling sexual harassment complaints from your employeesDo not object if an employee prefers to or actually does bypass the standard chain of commandRespond to any employee’s complaint as soon as possible.Do not engage in retaliation against an employee who complains of sexual harassment
29 Your Responsibilities as Supervisors (Cont’d) Investigations are conducted by the HR Director or by the company’s legal counselBe available for interviews and provide as much information as possible.Make employees available for interviews
30 Your Responsibilities as Supervisors (Cont’d) Once an investigation has been completed, if disciplinary action is to be taken, work with the HR Director to make sure that:The victim is not adversely affectedThe sexual harassment stops and does not recur
32 Summary Sexual harassment is Unwelcome sexual advances Requests for sexual favorsOther verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that affects an individuals’ employment, unreasonably interferes with his/her work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
33 Summary (Cont’d) There are two forms of sexual harassment Quid pro quo (Latin for “this for that” or “something for something”) andHostile Work Environment
34 Summary (Cont’d)Retaliation is taking adverse action against an employee who has complained of sexual harassment. It is just as illegal as sexual harassment and is strictly prohibited in our company.
35 Summary (Cont’d)It is important to prevent sexual harassment in our workplace because it harms us all. It conflicts with our corporate value that all employees are treated with respect and dignity andSexual harassment and retaliating against an employee who complains of sexual harassment is illegal under federal and state laws.
36 Summary (Cont’d) Your responsibilities are to: Know and comply with our policy and proceduresImmediately report any complaints you receive or incidents you witness to the HR DirectorHandle complaints from your employees in accordance with our policy and proceduresNever retaliate against an employee who complains of sexual harassmentAssist with investigations and disciplinary actionAssure that victims are not adversely affectedMake sure that sexual harassment stops and does not recur.
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