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Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

Pursuant to the Illinois Human Rights Act, Illinois Employers are required to provide annual Sexual Harassment Prevention Training to all of their employees.

For far too long our society has turned a blind eye to the insidious problem of sexual harassment in the workplace. Recent media attention and the #MeToo movement has brought the topic to the forefront of our national conversation.

Many times, a perpetrator in the workplace is an individual who has control over the terms and conditions of a victim’s employment. The perpetrator often exploits the power imbalance by sexually harassing a subordinate who may feel powerless to stand up to the harassment due to the need to retain a job or advance a career.

Research shows that a workplace culture in which respect and civility is a core value is less likely to experience incidents of harassment. We help companies to assess their current culture through an employee questionnaire and then we customize our training so that it is aligned to meet the company’s specific needs and goals.

Live vs. Online Training

Cotler Law offer both live on-site sexual harassment prevention training as well as live-virtual training webinars.

While we believe that having live, interactive on-site training is the most impactful way to train employees, the restrictions imposed over large group gatherings during the Pandemic has allowed us to develop and offer our clients live-virtual online training as an alternative. Feedback from our clients has been that their employees have found our live-virtual training Webinar to be “informative and engaging.”

Why Cotler Law?

We have been performing sexual harassment prevention training for Fortune 500 companies and non-profits in a multitude of sectors for nearly 20 years and we are good at what we do. We enjoy training, and our enthusiasm is evident. Our training incorporates stories and examples from our nearly 30 years of experience practicing law. Our presentation combines lecture with lively interactive discussion to explore how employees might respond if they were to find themselves in various hypothetical situations in the future. We teach not only the law regarding prohibition of sexual harassment, but how to apply it in everyday workplace interactions including verbal conversations, emails, text messages and posts on social media.

Recent studies show that men and women often view the very same conduct from a different lens, and that these differences can lead to miscommunication about intentions. Our training discusses ways in which to bridge the gap between divergent gender perspectives. Our experience has shown us that while there are certainly harassers who are ill-intentioned and look to abuse their power, other times, there are people who may be well intentioned, but whose behavior, unbeknownst to them, may make people uncomfortable. Our training educates employees to recognize when their behavior may be causing others to feel uncomfortable.

We go further than just addressing the illegal types of harassment based on sex, race and ethnicity. Harassment falls within the broader definition of workplace bullying, and while bullying may not be unlawful, it is nonetheless highly destructive to employee morale. Bullying of any type is a slippery slope in that an employer who tolerates workplace bullying of any kind is far more likely to experience incidents of illegal harassment.

Training Makes Good Business Sense

Employers who offer sexual harassment prevention training are demonstrating their commitment to a harassment free workplace. Employers are forewarning potential perpetrators that their actions will not be tolerated and this message, properly delivered, serves as a strong deterrent to future misconduct. Offering training can also serve to potentially mitigate future employer liability. Most importantly, sexual harassment prevention training promotes a positive workplace culture which increases employee productivity, attendance and retention.

If your organization is interested in providing live, engaging and impactful sexual harassment prevention training, we encourage you to give us a call.

Cotler Law Interviewed on Chicago WGN TV News

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