Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

Sexual harassment claims have exploded in the media bringing the topic to the forefront of our national conversation. Between senators, movie stars, Hollywood producers, and TV executives, it seems harassment is pervasive. For far too long our society has turned a blind eye to this insidious problem. In the context of the workplace, the perpetrator often abuses a power imbalance in which the employee is rendered powerless due to a need to retain a job or advance a career.

In response to the media and #MeToo movement, many employers have become proactive in offering harassment prevention training to their employees.

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 customize our training so that it is aligned to meet the company’s specific needs and goals.

Live vs. Online Training

Online training is not a substitute for live interactive training. For employers who merely desire to check a box without concern at to whether the training will have a measurable impact on future workplace behavior, then online training may be a solution. However, the EEOC taskforce found that live interactive training is significantly more impactful than merely requiring employees to complete online training modules. The EEOC further found that effective training needs to teach employees how to become upstanders rather than bystanders when witnessing harassment. One of the greatest barriers to eliminating harassment is that people often lack courage to speak up when they find themselves in an uncomfortable situation. Our in-person interactive training introduces hypothetical scenarios to teach employees the skills needed to become upstanders.

Why Cotler Law?

To be effective, training must be memorable and engaging. We really 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 how to apply the law to 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 these 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 yet 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