Sexual Harassment Training in the Workplace

Discussing nuanced situations, getting feedback, picking a good format and outlining the proper reactions can help educate workers on sexual harassment.

According to National Public Radio, 81% of women and 43% of men have experienced sexual harassment. Additionally, a CNBC survey reported that 20% of American adults have experienced sexual harassment at the workplace. Employers must take action to prevent this threat from negatively influencing the performance of their employees.

Being Considerate about Nuanced Situations

Although most people are aware of the typical forms of sexual harassment, supervisors in charge of training need to include less obvious scenarios that still might create a hostile work environment. Rather than just telling employees what is inappropriate, it may be more effective to provide examples of how an unintended remark, such as too much detail of an employee’s romantic life, could make someone uncomfortable. Examining these nuanced situations also allows managers to assess situations that may be specific to their company.

Listening to Feedback

If employees provide feedback that their sexual harassment training to be boring or ineffective, the supervisor responsible should reassess the training method. Proactively asking for employee opinions on the training sessions should also be considered as an option, as this may allow the material to reflect the current trends workers’ needs.

Choosing the Right Format

Companies may choose any of the following formats:

  • Online workshops
  • In-person lectures
  • Live training

Not every format will be right for each company. For example, a nationwide business that has employees spread out over several states may benefit more from an online workshop that everyone can participate in rather than an in-person lecture that only a few can attend.

Outline the Proper Steps

When employees feel that they are victimized at the workplace, they may feel helpless and incapable of resolving the conflict. If an employer clearly describes how to report sexual harassment, it may be easier for the victims of harassment to address the situation. The process of reporting sexual harassment may differ by company, but it often includes making an in-house report to a supervisor, reaching out to law enforcement, and filing a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

If sexual harassment happens at work, those involved should consult with a knowledgeable attorney. The legal team at Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP (“SFMS”) has significant experience litigating discrimination and harassment claims. For information about your rights or our results in employment litigation, contact SFMS to arrange a consultation.