Sexual harassment prevention training is increasingly mandated in the workplace as a result of the #MeToo movement. Several states have such laws in place, including California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, and New York. Check out which employers are covered by the laws in these states, as well as the deadlines and other details.
Despite technological advancements, workplace harassment and discrimination remain a constant problem. The prevalence of sexual harassment at work has never been higher, and a variety of media platforms are available to employees. Using social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, and others, coworkers and supervisors have access to one another. Text messages and e-mails are also commonly used to communicate.
What constitutes sexual harassment, though, when a dirty joke becomes sexually explicit? What is the limit of an employee’s willingness to commit unlawful acts before they are fired? Harassment can be prevented by understanding it.
WHAT ARE THE CALIFORNIA EMPLOYER REQUIREMENTS?
- Employers must retain records of all employees’ training for a minimum of two years.
- Employers must provide sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training to employees every two years.
- Employers must provide employees with a poster or fact sheet developed by the Department regarding sexual harassment, or equivalent information.
WHAT TOPICS ARE COVERED DURING THE COURSE?
- What workplace sexual harassment is
- The legal definitions for sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace
- How employees can identify instances of sexual harassment and discrimination
- How employers and supervisors are required to address harassment instances
- Avenues of reporting and action that can be taken to stop sexual harassment
- Consequences of sexual harassment training in the workplace and failure to properly address and report it
- Mandatory reporting specifics
- What to do if a manager or supervisor exhibits behaviors
- The complaint process for sexual harassment or discrimination int the workplace
- Sexual harassment and discrimination prevent strategies
SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT WORK: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
As with any other formal complaint filed by an employee, you should deal with allegations of sexual harassment as well. Sexual harassment complaints require the following actions.
It is important that your organization’s policy on sexual harassment is posted and informed to all employees before you file a complaint. There will be no tolerance for it; an investigation will be conducted; punishment will be imposed.
- Make it easy for employees to file formal charges or complaints. A manager or supervisor is not the only person an employee can complain to. This is because he or she may be the one that the employee needs to complain about. It is advisable to contact Human Resources offices. A company’s CEO, president, or owner is also protected from harassment, except if they are the harassers. It is also possible to enlist the help of a manager if the manager has not been involved.
- Identify the HR employee who will be responsible for handling the complaint. It is important for this individual to have a solid understanding of what the organization does, who its members are, and what its history is.
- Identify the people and situations the investigation needs to cover from the beginning. Based on what we currently know, plan the investigation.
- Consult the employee who is complaining. No matter what the results of the investigation are, ensure that his or her safety is not at risk and that appropriate action was taken in reporting the incident.
- Remind the employee that any retaliation, purported retaliation, or ongoing harassment should be reported right away.
- Make sure to ask the employee to tell you the entire story in his or her own words. Pay attention to the conversation; take notes in order to document it thoroughly. Dates, times, situations, witnesses, and any other pertinent information should be noted.
- Let the accused know that a complaint has been filed and that unethical or retaliatory behavior will not be tolerated. While you conduct a thorough investigation, ask the person to be patient.
- Ensure that it will be carried out on behalf of the accused as well as the accuser a fair and just investigation.
- The same procedure should be followed when interviewing potential witnesses. Inquire about the employee’s claims and search for facts supporting or disproving them.
- Investigate the allegations of sexual harassment against the accused. Listen to the complainant as well as other witnesses with the same respect you offered them.
- Consider all the information you have received and make a decision based on it. Utilize the information you have to make the most informed decision you can. Do the right thing by consulting other HR colleagues.
- Get legal advice to make sure you are assessing the situation fairly on the basis of the evidence you have. If you are considering a particular course of action, make sure the lawyer supports it.
- Make a decision about whether sexual harassment occurred based on all of the evidence and the advice provided by colleagues and your attorney. Ensure that the appropriate discipline is administered to the appropriate people, based on your findings. Adapt work settings or assignments or change reporting assignments if necessary.
- It is impossible to investigate a situation perfectly. Recognize your limitations. When harassment may have occurred, even if you believe it occurred, you may have no evidence or witnesses to back up the complainant’s claim.
- Ensure that the original harassment claim is not repeated by following up with the employee and documenting your follow-up. Organize investigation documents separately from personnel files.
- Be sure to follow up and document the employee, who may have been wrongly accused. In order to maximize productivity and comfort, adjust working conditions fairly where necessary.
Always remember, EVERY TWO YEARS, you need to have this course completed if your company has five or more employees. If you don’t, you aren’t in compliance and a lot of trouble can happen.
By training employees about harassment, employers aim to change their attitudes towards their coworkers. An employee’s feeling of safety at work can be improved by proper training. It can also demonstrate how important it is to work in an environment free of harassment.
MCDA CCG offers workplace harassment training courses that satisfy state guidelines and laws. If you would like to explore a customized workplace harassment course for your employees, contact us at MCDA CCG, Inc. today. Our seasoned HR consultants will create and deliver a world-class training session that will leave a remarkable impact on your organization.
CALL TODAY (657) 258 – 0577 OR email us at [email protected]!
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