Many individuals are familiar with conventional corporate sexual harassment training: clicking through a PowerPoint, marking a box indicating that you have read the employee handbook, or attending a mandated seminar where someone lectures about harassment while attendance look at their phones.
That type of training, at best, works in teaching people basic facts, such as the definition of harassment and how to report infractions, according to the study. At worst, it can make them feel uneasy, leading to defensive jokes or reinforcing gender stereotypes, potentially exacerbating harassment. In any case, it frequently falls short of addressing the core issue: preventing sexual harassment in the first place.
That’s because most of the training is for a completely other reason. In two Supreme Court rulings from 1998, it was established that a firm might avoid culpability in a sexual harassment case if it could show that its personnel had been instructed on the company’s anti-harassment policies. According to research by Justine Tinkler, a sociologist at the University of Georgia, while training shields employers from lawsuits, it can also backfire by perpetuating gender stereotypes, at least in the short term. This is due to the fact that it frequently portrays males as powerful and sexually ravenous while portraying women as fragile.
Status of Effective Sexual Harassment Training
Other provisions that vary by jurisdiction include the frequency and content of the training. Training is required in California within six months of starting a new job and every two years after that. Employers in New York City are required to conduct anti-sexual harassment training to their employees at least once a year, as well as teaching staff as soon as feasible after hire. Employers may also be required to provide material in their training such as state and federal law provisions involving sexual harassment and potential remedies, the employer’s policy about sexual harassment, instances of sexual harassment behavior, workplace bullying and even bystander training.
Some laws differ in terms of the training format. Some jurisdictions, such as Delaware, mandate that the training is interactive. Others, such as Maine, do not have any specific format restrictions. Employers in California can choose from a variety of training formats, including classroom instruction, interactive online learning, and live webinars. Laws may also specify the training’s minimum and maximum duration. Some regulations require training to be provided in languages other than English.
Sexual Harassment in Workplace
For HR professionals and their employers, sexual harassment prevention training has become a top issue. With the #Me-too movement gaining traction, there is a growing demand to replace the traditional model of workplace harassment prevention training, which focused on teaching employee’s laws and rules, with a new approach that focuses on what matters most: ensuring employees know how to make the right decisions and take the right actions if they experience or witness sexual harassment or other misconduct. For HR professionals and their employers, sexual harassment prevention training has become a top issue. With the #Me-too movement gaining traction, there is a growing demand to replace the traditional model of workplace harassment prevention training, which focused on teaching employee’s laws and rules, with a new approach that focuses on what matters most: ensuring employees know how to make the right decisions and take the right actions if they experience or witness sexual harassment or other misconduct.
One of the most effective methods to promote a positive, respectful corporate culture is to train staff on how to recognize and respond to circumstances that can lead to sexual harassment, from the blatant to the subtle. Workplace Harassment Prevention Training can also assist organizations prevent costly employee harassment accusations as well as the legal risks involved with workplace harassment, which can harm an organization’s reputation, recruiting and retention efforts, and bottom line.