Category: Harassment

When it comes to sexual harassment in the workplace, you can’t be too careful. HR Daily Advisor gives you background on the federal and state guidelines and essential elements of an anti-harassment policy and program. Get analysis, news, training tips for managers and employees, and more.

Sexual Harassment—You Know It When You See It

Do you know harassment when you see it? Sometimes, sure, but often not, because harassment isn’t about intent, it’s about effect. Employees may appear to be enjoying a situation but be thinking, “I’m being harassed, I’m calling my lawyer.” In today’s Advisor, we’ll propose several scenarios that will help with your anti-harassment training. Jack and […]

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Harassment Witnesses—How Many, Which Ones?

In yesterday’s Advisor, attorney Rebecca Speer dissected "he said/she said" investigations. Today we’ll get her take on how many witnesses to interview, and we’ll take a look at a program to help you with your investigation policies (and all your other policies). Deciding whom to interview, and how many people to interview, involves a careful […]

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Walking the Tightrope of He Said/She Said

There’s not much trickier than investigating "he said/she said" accusations. The key to dealing with these situations, says attorney Rebecca Speer, is to do everything reasonably in your power to uncover "corroborating evidence," that is, information that would support the complainant’s—or the accused’s—version of events. "In my experience," Speer says, "Even the most starkly seeming […]

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Is Your Harassment Training Too Risqué?

Harassment training is always tricky—Discuss the behaviors of harassing managers, and you may be creating an uncomfortable environment just with your training. Here are a few scenarios that should get discussions going without offending. The scenarios below are from training programs in the BLR® Employee Training Center. Gayla’s Dress is “Provocative” Gayla G’s job took […]

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Avoidance Discrimination—Silent, Subtle, Dangerous

Four men and a woman are at an out-of-town sales meeting. The men decide to go to a strip club, but because they don’t want to be guilty of harassment, they don’t invite the woman. "And they are right, there is no harassment, but there is discrimination," says Attorney Jonathan Segal. Or take a similar […]

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Subordinate Dating: ‘Most Dangerous Workplace Activity’

What about supervisors asking subordinates for dates? “It’s not recommended, in fact, it’s the most dangerous action in the workplace,” says Attorney Jonathan Segal. Segal’s remarks came as part of his “Harassment Quiz” at SHRM’s recent Annual Convention and Exposition in New Orleans. Segal is a partner in the Philadelphia office of law firm Duane […]

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Employee Retention & Engagement

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) recently issued a decision that reads like a “what not to do” in response to employee complaints. When one employee complained to her manager about sexual harassment and assault by a coworker, the company looked into the matter but failed to protect her. In fact, the […]

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‘I Never Knew There Was a Complaint System’

Yesterday’s Advisor  considered harassment complaint systems. Today, we cover who takes complaints, offer a sample complaint form, and discuss one additional key element—training. Who should handle harassment complaints?  The people designated for this task should be people viewed as credible, objective, sensitive, and trustworthy. Note that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) says any complaint […]

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‘But It Wasn’t a Formal Complaint …’

Many managers think they can ignore sexual harassment until there’s a formal complaint, but that’s a dangerous course. In fact, the opposite is true: Most experts recommend encouraging complaints. “Encourage complaints? Don’t I have enough to deal with without begging for more hassles?”  We hear you, but the bottom line is this: Dealing with complaints […]

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Invoking the Slippery ‘Affirmative Defense’ to Harassment

Yesterday’s Advisor covered the first three conditions that must be met to invoke an “affirmative defense” against harassment claims. Today we move on to the fourth condition, and bring you news about a unique tool that helps smaller HR departments with harassment—and the rest of HR’s major challenges. The fourth condition that must be met […]

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