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Creating a Culture of Respect, Civility + Diversity: How to Address Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

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​Tony presented to Ashtabula SHRM on September 12 as a training session for preventing sexual harassment in the workplace. Reviewing how recent allegations of celebrity workplace harassment has captured headlines worldwide, and how the #MeToo movement has empowered employees to speak up, Tony that bad behavior that should not be tolerated, but doing the minimum to comply with state and federal employment will not be enough for workplaces in the 21st Century.
Actions in dealing with allegations of sexual harassment speak louder than words. Therefore, Tony explained that companies must create a culture of respect, civility and diversity, and stressed how the negative impact sexual harassment claims can have on a company can tarnish its reputation and make hiring more difficult in the future. Tony provided different strategies for training, policies and many other aspects of responding to inappropriate behaviors in the workplace for supervisors and HR professionals to help avoid liability on sexual harassment issues.

Published in: Law
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Creating a Culture of Respect, Civility + Diversity: How to Address Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

  1. 1. Creating a Culture of Respect, Civility + Diversity: How to Address Sexual Harassment in the Workplace presented by Tony Fiore September 12, 2018
  2. 2. NYT investigation revealed sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein October 5
  3. 3. New Yorker published an investigation into sexual assault by Weinstein October 10
  4. 4. Alyssa Milano invites women to #metoo October 15
  5. 5. 1.7 million tweets with the #metoo; 12 million posts on Facebook November 31
  6. 6. “Silence breakers” named Time Person of the Year December 6
  7. 7. Time’s Up founded January 1
  8. 8. 25-75% of women had been victims of sexual harassment
  9. 9. Higher Education - Disability, 19, 1% Employment , 2844, 74% Housing, 653, 17% Public Accommodation, 282, 7%Credit, 20, 1% Charges Filed by Jurisdiction (2017)
  10. 10. cases in its active investigative inventory At any given time the agency may have 1000-1500
  11. 11. 2013: 3,346 charges filed 2014: 3,125 charges filed 2015: 3,137 charges filed 2016: 2,890 charges filed 2017: 3,673 charges filed *The OCRC investigates more cases than nearly any other state or local agency in the U.S.
  12. 12. 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 Employment Charges by Protected Class (2017)
  13. 13. Sexual Harassment Claims (2015-2018)
  14. 14. 75%of those women never report it
  15. 15. 30 million women have a voice
  16. 16. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature, including offensive remarks about a person’s sex (or - Insert protected class). .
  17. 17. Who merits protection has not changed
  18. 18. The laws have not changed
  19. 19. The reasonable person standard has not changed
  20. 20. The Severe or Pervasive Standard has not changed Severe: of a great degree, hardship or discomfort Pervasive: existing in or spreading through every part of something Number of IncidentsFew More
  21. 21. Degrees or types of harassment have not changed
  22. 22. Quid Pro Quo Submission to sexual advances or favors, or when other conduct is made a term or condition of employment Hostile Work Environment Severe or pervasive conduct of a sexual nature that creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment Gender Stereotyping Behavior that treats individuals based upon stereotypical notions of how persons of that gender should act
  23. 23. It’s still about impact and not necessarily intent, isn’t it?
  24. 24. Unwelcome means the employee did not solicit, incite or desire the conduct or regards it as offensive It is the perception + reaction of the victim that matters
  25. 25. Where did we go wrong? Ignoring the warning signs Ineffective policies, procedures + training Preconceived credibility assessments Not digging deep enough Failing to take sufficient measures to prevent + correct behaviors
  26. 26. What is proactive in the #MeToo Era? Apply policies, discipline + enforcement Ensure employees know their rights Train + educate (supervisors separately) User-friendly + accessible websites Workplace climate surveys
  27. 27. What size policy fits? No Gossip Policy Non-Fraternization Supervisor- Subordinate Anti-Harassment Civility Codes Zero Tolerance
  28. 28. A Word about Policies Written + understandable Easily accessible Regularly communicated Define what it is Outline avenues to complain Cover all protected classes Consider social media Applied uniformly
  29. 29. What is proactive in the #MeToo Era? Handle complaints well Promote a holistic, organizational culture Don’t ignore issues: nothing is “just a joke” Focus on respect, accountability + behavior Concepts of diversity + inclusion Workplace civility, bystander interview + compliance training are the new concepts
  30. 30. Report to HR Report on Social Media
  31. 31. Complaint won’t be taken seriously Retaliation Consequences
  32. 32. How do we change the culture?
  33. 33. The culture change + support has to be top-down 1
  34. 34. There have to be safe, multiple outlets for filing complaints 2
  35. 35. Tap into the women’s based groups at the company 3
  36. 36. What if you get a complaint?
  37. 37. Don’t ignore it – address early 1
  38. 38. Some complaints can be brought directly to the board 2
  39. 39. HR sends complaints directly to legal counsel 3
  40. 40. Using an employee app, kendr connects employees with their employers, promoting secure, discreet and anonymous workplace communication
  41. 41. The Manager’s Role
  42. 42. TRAINING One size training does not fit all Train supervisors separately Compliance training is important Supported + attended by the highest levels
  43. 43. TRAINING Live training is best Should be reinforced + routinely evaluated Always orient new employees on policies + procedures
  44. 44. Civility TRAINING Compliance training gives way to training focusing on D&I Focus on the positive Before acting, consider impact Understand your triggers + hot buttons
  45. 45. Civility TRAINING Practice self-restraint Adopt a solution- driven approach to conflict Rely on facts Think big picture Build bridges, not walls
  46. 46. What is proactive in the #MeToo Era? Investigate promptly + thoroughly EEO investigations separate from HR Remain neutral with an open mind Don’t discredit the complaining party Don’t be too legalese in y our conclusions
  47. 47. WORKPLACE Investigations Get the accuser’s story + speak with the accused Interview other employees Maintain privacy to extent feasible Consider separating parties - ensure NO retaliation Consider neutral third-party
  48. 48. Business Case
  49. 49. I did the right things, but the employee is still complaining Take the complaint seriously Avoid personalizing the complaint Investigate the complaint Document your actions
  50. 50. DEFINING Employer Liability Faragher & Ellerth (1998) Faragher v. City of Boca Raton 524 U.S. 775 Burlington Industries v. Ellerth 524 U.S. 742
  51. 51. Employer Liability FOR SUPERVISORS
  52. 52. Employer Liability FOR CO-WORKERS
  53. 53. What is Gender Harassment? Gender harassment is typically based on hostility directed at that gender
  54. 54. What is Gender Stereotyping? Gender stereotyping refers to behavior that treats individuals based upon stereotypical notions of how persons of that gender should act
  55. 55. Are Transgenders Protected? Title VII protects transgender persons because of their transgender or transitioning status, because transgender or transitioning status constitutes an inherently gender non-conforming trait
  56. 56. What is Sexual Orientation Discrimination?
  57. 57. 2013: 808 LGBT receipts 2014: 1,100 LGBT receipts 2015: 1,412 LGBT receipts 2016: 1,768 LGBT receipts 2017: 1,762 LGBT receipts The EEOC takes the approach orientation is a form of sex discrimination
  58. 58. What is retaliation?
  59. 59. EEOC is updating its sexual harassment guidelines for the first time in 20 years
  60. 60. Tony Fiore Of Counsel, Kegler Brown Director, Government Affairs, Ohio SHRM afiore@keglerbrown.com keglerbrown.com/fiore 614-462-5428 @TonyFioreEsq

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