Workplace & Sexual Harassment What You Need to Know. Presented by: Jonna Contacos-Sawyer, D.B.A. SPHR, CCP, SHRM-SCP SM HR Consultants, Inc.

Size: px
Start display at page:

Download "Workplace & Sexual Harassment What You Need to Know. Presented by: Jonna Contacos-Sawyer, D.B.A. SPHR, CCP, SHRM-SCP SM HR Consultants, Inc."


1 Workplace & Sexual Harassment What You Need to Know Presented by: Jonna Contacos-Sawyer, D.B.A. SPHR, CCP, SHRM-SCP SM HR Consultants, Inc.


3 Effects of Harassment in the Workplace Decreased Productivity Disciplinary Actions Increased Use of Sick Leave Increased Turnover Loss of Time and Money Low Morale Negative Publicity Recruitment Costs and Replacement Difficulties Risk Exposure Unemployment Compensation

4 Impacts on Your Organization 2014: 12,146 claims filed, resulting in $35 million 2015: 12,573 claims filed, resulting in $46 million 2016: 12,860 claim filed, resulting in $40 million Source: Paycom A Safer Workplace: The Future of Sexual Harassment Training

5 The Scope 30% Thirty percent of U.S. women have experienced unwanted sexual advances from male coworkers. 23% Twenty three percent said they were harassed by men who has influence over their jobs. 95% Ninety five percent said male harassers usually go unpunished. Source: Washington Post ABC News poll, national sample, 740 women, October 2017.

6 EEOC s Definition of Harassment Harassment is unwelcome conduct that is based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, military status or genetic information Harassment becomes unlawful where: enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive

7 EEOC s Definition of Harassment Anti-discrimination laws also prohibit harassment against individuals in retaliation for filing a discrimination charge, testifying, or participating in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or lawsuit under these laws; or opposing employment practices that they reasonably believe discriminate against individuals, in violation of these laws

8 Protected Classes Discriminating against or harassing a person based on that person s: Race Color Religion National Origin Sexual Orientation Age Gender Disability Military Status Genetic Information

9 Employer Responsibilities Employers have the responsibility to maintain an environment that is unbiased and free of harassment Employers undertake this responsibility by: Implementing policies and procedures to receive complaints Providing training Investigating complaints of harassment Addressing incidents of harassment by instituting appropriate corrective action

10 Supervisor Responsibilities Set the tone for what level of respect is required in the workplace Act as a role model for employees being supervised Take all complaints seriously and ensure the policy and reporting procedure are followed Immediately address inappropriate workplace behaviors and report the issue to the appropriate level of management/ Human Resources

11 Mistakes Supervisors Make Not setting a proper tone of respect Failing to recognize harassment Allowing the victim to dictate actions Failing to give all forms of harassment equal treatment Ignoring workplace dating Not taking action despite full knowledge Looking the other way Not informing higher level of management about harassment issues in the workplace

12 Employee Responsibilities Take responsibility for setting the tone for a respectful workplace by exhibiting behavior that does not include inappropriate verbal, non-verbal, visual, or physical conduct Tell others when their conduct is NOT welcomed Report incidents of harassment immediately to your immediate supervisor, another supervisor, or Human Resources DO NOT LOOK THE OTHER WAY

13 EEOC Regulations The EEOC defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individuals employment; Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individuals; or Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individuals work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment

14 EEOC Definition Components Sexual Harassment Components Quid Pro Quo Hostile Work Environment

15 Quid Pro Quo Means this for that ; usually involves supervisors who use: Threats Firing, blocking promotion, transferring, or bad evaluations Rewards Hiring, promoting, or giving a raise Conditions for Quid Pro Quo Harassment Harasser in a position of power A tangible employment action conditioned on an employee s response to sexual favors One incident may be enough

16 Hostile Work Environment Actions, comments, or objects that unreasonably interfere with work performance or that create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment Conditions for Hostile Work Environment Harassment Harasser may be anyone in the workplace: supervisor, coworker, client, vendor, consumer Generally more than one incident is needed to demonstrate

17 Hostile Work Environment Factors considered by the Courts: Number of occurrences Whether the incidents involve physical threats Whether incidents were welcome Work environment

18 Categories of Harassing Behaviors Physical Verbal Non-verbal Visual

19 Is this harassment? While at work, Kim and Ted frequently tell each other the latest joke relating to disabilities. Neither Kim nor Ted are offended by the jokes they tell each other. Kim and Ted work on a team with Randy who often hears their jokes.

20 Is this harassment? Daryl has strong opinions about certain religions, minorities, women, and gays. He proudly displays swastikas and anti-gay stickers on his car and cubical. He also frequently complains about working with the women assigned to his team because he thinks they aren t cut out for this type of work.

21 Gauge your behavior Is it possible that this person will find my comments or behavior offensive or unwelcome? Am I betraying a loved one by engaging in this behavior or sharing these details? Would I want someone to treat my sibling, parent, spouse, or child the way I am treating this person?

22 Do you think it s just Men?

23 Sample Non-Harassment Policy The Company firmly prohibit harassment of one employee by another employee, supervisor or third party for any reason based on a protected class including, but not limited to: veteran status, uniformed service member status, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information or any other protected class under federal, state, or local law. The Company also firmly prohibit sexual harassment of any employee by another employee, supervisor or third party. Harassment of third parties by our employees is also firmly prohibited. The purpose of this policy is not to regulate the personal morality of employees. It is to ensure that in the workplace, no employee is subject to sexual harassment or other harassment and no employee harasses another for any reason or in any manner.

24 Sample Non-Harassment Policy While it is not easy to define precisely what sexual harassment is, it may include: unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and/or verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature including, but not limited to, sexually-related drawings, pictures, jokes, teasing, uninvited touching or other sexually-related comments. The conduct prohibited by this policy includes conduct in any form including but not limited to , voice mail, chat rooms, Internet use or history, text messages, pictures, images, writings, words or gestures. While it is not easy to define precisely what other types of harassment are, they also include: slurs, epithets, threats, derogatory comments or visual depictions, unwelcome jokes and teasing, related to one of the protected categories of individuals above.

25 Reporting Complaints -Sample Any employee who believes that (s)he has been harassed, (s)he is a victim of sexual harassment or has been retaliated against for complaining of sexual or other harassment, or who witnesses harassment should report the situation immediately to one of the following members of management who have been designated to receive such complaints: Supervisor HR Manager President

26 Reporting Complaints Sample If any manager becomes aware of possible harassment, he or she is required to report the concern to one of the following: Supervisor HR Manager President If an employee makes a report to any of these members of management and the manager either does not respond or does not respond in a manner the employee deems satisfactory or consistent with this policy, the employee is required to report the situation to the CEO of the Company.

27 Reporting & Investigating of Complaints Your Company will investigate every reported incident immediately. Any employee, supervisor or agent of your company who has been found to have violated this policy may be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including immediate termination. Your company will conduct all investigations in a discreet manner. your company recognizes that every investigation requires a determination based on all the facts in the matter. We also recognize the serious impact a false accusation can have. We trust that all employees will continue to act responsibly. The reporting employee and any employee participating in any investigation under this policy have your company s assurance that no reprisals will be taken as a result of a sexual or other harassment complaint. It is our policy to encourage discussion of the matter, to help protect others from being subjected to similar inappropriate behavior.

28 Avoid Retaliation The employer, supervisors and employees must avoid retaliatory actions against: an individual making a compliant of harassment; or any individual that participates in the investigation of a complaint

29 Penalties of Harassment Corrective action implemented as deemed appropriate by your company Discipline up to and including termination Training Transfer or removal of day-to-day contact between the accuser and the accused Discipline for false claims of harassment Civil and/or criminal penalties stemming from individual liability

30 Need more information? Have a question? PLEASE CONTACT US! Phone: Fax: Or visit us online at