Responding to Claims of Sexual Harassment
Whether an alleged harasser is an employee or a nonemployee, you need to take swift action when employees complain about sexual harassment — or when you otherwise learn of potential harassment.
2011 is an A.B. 1825 training year for most California employers. We’ve got an effective, cost-conscious sexual harassment training solution for you.
A prompt investigation of the matter is a must, but you also need to take care to follow several essential guidelines. You or your investigator should:
- Maintain confidentiality – regarding the complainant, the accused, and any witnesses — to the greatest extent possible. Do not, however, promise complete confidentiality, as some disclosure of identities may be necessary to properly conduct the investigation.
- Inform all involved parties of their rights under the company’s sexual harassment policy.
- Conduct private interviews, asking open-ended questions and discouraging the giving of opinions rather than facts.
- Document each interview in writing and obtain written statements if possible.
- Share your determination with both the complainant and the alleged harasser and provide them with the opportunity to respond.
- Record the findings in the personnel files of both parties (if both parties are employees).
If the investigation finds sexual harassment by an employee, you must take timely action against the harasser as prescribed under your disciplinary policy. (Be sure to consult with an attorney before terminating the harasser — you don’t want to risk a charge of wrongful discharge.) You should also follow up to make sure no retaliation or additional harassment occurs against the employee or any employee who participated in the investigation.
When the harasser is a nonemployee, you must take reasonable steps to end the harassment. This could include reassigning the employee to a comparable position with comparable compensation to avoid further contact with the harasser (if, for example, the harasser is a client or customer). In the case we discussed yesterday, the employer might have imposed serious disciplinary measures on offending residents.
Everything You Need for Compliant A.B. 1825 Training
Sure, it’s a pain in the neck, but sexual harassment training for your managers is important — and it’s the law for most California employers.
Don’t let your training obligations slip through the cracks — or, nearly as bad, waste time and money on training that doesn’t meet the stringent requirements of what A.B. 1825 requires (your managers might wind up more or less up to speed, but you’ll be out of luck in the event of a lawsuit or government audit).
Our California Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response (AB1825) training course provides California employers with everything you need to satisfy the training requirement, including a 2-hour minimum course length, interactive content, expert “help link,” employee policy acknowledgement, and more.
The BLR Employee Training Center California Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response (AB1825) training course has been developed by BLR lawyers, industry experts, and instructional designers, and it’s automatically updated — so you can be confident your California A.B. 1825 training program reflects the latest regulations and workplace best practices.
Download your free copy of Training Your New Supervisors: 11 Practical Lessons today!