Movements such as #MeToo have pushed the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace to the forefront of our collective consciousness, and everyone is becoming more aware of the problem today. Many businesses are now requiring all employees to take some form of sexual harassment training, and it is no longer just reserved for managers. In Ohio, this type of training is not required, but it can help protect business owners in the event that an employee files a complaint.
Sexual harassment training can promote a healthy and productive workplace environment, but it has to be done right. When you are creating a sexual harassment training program for your employees, below are some tips that will help.
Regularly throughout training, remind employees how the material aligns with your company’s mission and values. If employees feel as though they are only taking the course so you can protect yourself and your business, the training will not be effective. Worse, it could have a negative effect on overall morale.
It is easy to take for granted that all of your employees know what constitutes sexual harassment. However, that may not be the case. Some of your employees may only think of sexual harassment in a criminal sense, when sometimes workplace harassment does not constitute a crime. Clearly define what sexual harassment is to make sure all of your employees understand.
Sexual harassment in the workplace is sometimes quite obvious, such as when one worker inappropriately touches another. Other times, sexual harassment is much more nuanced. Provide examples of sexual harassment, such as when one employee stands too closely to another, or when a worker shares too much information about their romantic life. This will help employees better understand when they should file a sexual harassment complaint.
In order to set goals for yourself, you must have goals for your employees. What do you want them to get out of the training session? Do you want them to report complaints to HR first, so you can deal with the problem quickly before it rises to the level of harassment? Address the root causes of sexual harassment and a plan employees can follow if they are subject to this type of behavior.
You will find that it is almost impossible to fully cover all sexual harassment topics in one training course. Working with an employment lawyer, design an ongoing program that allows workers to understand the anti-harassment laws, what motivates such behavior, and how to file a complaint, so workers regularly receive education on sexual harassment.
All employers should have a sexual harassment training program for employees, and our Columbus employment lawyers at Marshall Forman & Schlein LLC, can help you create an effective one. We know the most important topics to cover with employees, and how to deal with complaints quickly and effectively so you and your business are protected. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more about how we can help.
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