What is Unlawful Harassment?
Workplace harassment is still a major problem and is alleged in 30% of all charges filed with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). According to the Department of Labor, workplace harassment can cause an intimidating or hostile workplace environment. Prevention is the best tool to eliminate harassment in the workplace. A healthy work environment is one in which employees feel comfortable to express if harassment has taken place and confident that their employer will take the appropriate action. Ensuring that employees have access to comprehensive training, allows employers to create a safe workplace.
There are several different types of harassment that constitute unlawful harassment according to federal and state guidelines. Causing someone to feel intimidated or humiliated based on their sex, race, color, ethnicity, disability or sexual preference is illegal and unwarranted in any workplace, and it is beneficial to provide training to highlight the nuances of harassment. These types of harassment can take many forms from the most subtle to the most egregious – from verbal, physical, visual, sexual and electronic harassment.
The Civil Rights Act of 1991 has amended several statues enforced by EEOCA, both substantively and procedurally. Parties can now obtain jury trials and recover compensatory and punitive damages in Title VII and ADA lawsuits involving intentional discrimination. The law forbids discrimination in any act of employment, including:
- Job Assignments
- Fringe Benefits
- Any other term/condition of employment
Why Training is Important
“Prevention is the best tool to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace from occurring. They should clearly communicate to employees that sexual harassment will not be tolerated. They can do so by providing sexual harassment training to their employees and by establishing an effective complaint or grievance process and taking immediate and appropriate action when an employee complains.” – EEOC Guidelines
Failing to train your staff on the impact of harassment, could result in negative impact to the company such as corporate punitive damages owed if harassment takes place unchecked to poor employee morale. Training employees on the scope of workplace harassment helps to create a knowledgeable workforce and avoid issues that could cause individual or organization liability.Having access to unlawful harassment trainings that provide the most up-to-date regulations helps organizations stay on top of policies and procedures with minimal effort and in turn create a positive and safe work environment for their employees. In order to protect you and your employees, everyone needs to feel comfortable enough to step forward and react quickly when a harassment has taken place. It starts at the top and trickles down the organization to every single employee.