There are few greater threats in the workplace today than the threat of a lawsuit for sexual harassment. The #MeToo movement has increased awareness and changed the dynamic. What was acceptable a couple years ago, can now generate legal action.
The best protection against a lawsuit is to inform workers what constitutes harassment, what actions are unacceptable today that were once tolerated, and what course of action to take when a worker feels that he or she is being victimized. In this changed environment, workers have lots of questions and need to know the answers.
Not every contact is sexual harassment
Part of the best defense against a lawsuit is informing workers that not everything is sexual harassment. Explaining and demonstrating what is not harassment is a key to preventing frivolous lawsuits. A handshake, a touch on the arm, or a brief hug between friends are examples of touching that is not harassment. Unwanted hugging could be.
Create a forum for questions
The best training is done in person, rather than by a video. Allow time for questions and answers because there are so many grey areas in the minds of workers. If a video is used the employer is required to provide an opportunity for questions to be asked and answered within 2 days. The better route to take is to have a professional trainer who is familiar with the subject and can provide guidance and clarification.
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