Companies are taking a hard look at their sexual harassment policies. Employees in industries across the board have been speaking out, and it is becoming clear that many businesses have policies that are not up to the new standard. The new path toward better sexual harassment policies is not a clear one, and these types of changes can be difficult for companies that have inadequate ones in place.
Sexual Harassment Policy History
Employees have been sexually and otherwise harassed since workplaces first came into existence, and the first step toward protecting their rights was the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This made it illegal to discriminate against workers based on their religion, race, sex, national origin, or color. However, it took years for actual laws to be created that protect workers. It was not until the 1970s that the original cases were heard.
In 1980, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defined workplace sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advance and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. It also classified it as sex discrimination, outlawed by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Since then, there have been many landmark cases that furthered the cause. The #MeToo movement is considered the main force that led employees to become more empowered to fight for their rights in the workplace.
Victims of sexual harassment often report the issue to a manager, but these supervisors may not provide solutions if they are unaware of proper protocol. Often, it is better to go right to the Human Resources (HR) Department and put the allegation on record. Some employees are uncomfortable going through a manager or to HR, so designating certain company employees to manage discrimination issues could be helpful. Victims must be wholly aware that the company will not retaliate against them for making the claim. There should be a written non-retaliation plan in place for their protection.
Focus on Employee Training
Companies should communicate clearly to their employees about what constitutes sexual harassment within their organizations. Many employees have been subjected to outdated sexual harassment training videos and awkward one-on-one or group sessions that are not very effective. This is another area in need of improvement.
She maintains that teaching employees how to respond when they witness harassment could be helpful. For example, if an employee sees a second one being harassed, the first one might laugh nervously. This can be misinterpreted as encouragement to the harasser. Training methods would focus on conflict management and redirecting inappropriate workplace behaviors.
South Jersey Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Advocate for Sexual Harassment Victims in the Workplace
Workplace sexual harassment can be demeaning and devastating. If you have been sexually harassed in the workplace, you are not alone. Call the highly experienced South Jersey sexual harassment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. today for a free case evaluation. We will fight to obtain the compensation you deserve. Call us at 215-569-1999 or complete an online form. With an office in Pennsauken, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients throughout the state.