Possible changes coming to sexual harassment training

Experts in the field of employment law have recently questioned the effectiveness of workplace sexual harassment training. This is not because experts feel the training is inappropriate, but because they feel it needs to be modified. As a result, workers in Arizona and across the country may experience a change in their training in the near future.

Since the beginning of Title VII sexual harassment enforcement, the standard form of education in the workplace has been an educational video describing different forms of workplace harassment. Some employers may supplement the video with an appearance by a speaker.

Recent evidence suggests, however, that whatever education is provided is often ignored once the video is finished. There is even evidence that many employers provide it merely to claim the training was issued. In other words, employers may provide lip service to the issue without any further attempt to change company culture.

According to a special task force created in 2016 by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), training 'must be part of a holistic culture of non-harassment that starts at the top." The EEOC receives approximately 90.000 complaints of workplace harassment per year, and they believe that most incidents go unreported. Surveys have found that less than one in four victims of workplace harassment have discussed the incident with a supervisor or any human resource personnel. Smaller percentages still file a formal complaint.

Sexual harassment is considered a form of employment discrimination under federal law and in most states. It can take the form of direct threats to the employee or the creation of a hostile work environment. An employment law attorney is familiar with both forms, and they can help a person who has experienced this type of harassment proceed with a claim in hopes of attaining potential compensation.

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Elizabeth D. Tate, Attorney at Law
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