Sexual Harassment - it's More than Sexual & What Every Supervisor Should Know


The workshop will start by assessing the group's "IQ" on what is workplace harassment by reviewing several scenarios. When a male supervisor harasses a male subordinate by engaging in verbal abuse and taunting gestures, does this constitute harassment? If an employee reports harassment and the complaint is immediately addressed, however, the harassment continues - does the employee have a case for harassment? When two employees are engaged in consensual relations, can this create a sexual harassment claim? The answers may surprise you. The purpose of this exercise is to heighten participants' awareness that harassment is not always black and white.

History and evolution of sexual harassment and discrimination will be discussed and will include Federal laws that have formed the basis of past suits. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination because of a person's race, color, religion, sex or national origin and has been a corner stone in harassment claims. Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits discrimination based on mental and physical impairment also covers harassment claims. Other legislation that is covered under harassment is the Equal Pay Act of 1963, immigration Control and Reform Act and Age Discrimination in Employment Act all can be covered under a harassment claim. In additional to Federal laws, discussion will include the impact of state laws on claims. This part of the workshop will show how Federal & State legislation can linked to workplace harassment, why and how to comply with these regulations to reduce litigation claims.

There are two types of harassment which are "quid pro quo" and a hostile environment. Discussion will show how these different forms of harassment happen and what impact it has on the work place. This part of the workshop will discuss how previously discussed legislation relates to the two types of harassment and what supervisors can do to minimize risks. This part of the workshop will also cover how harassment effects individuals and harassment of any kind is discrimination and cannot be tolerated.

Group exercises and role playing will be conducted to cover many different scenarios that could lead to a harassment claim. Examples of role playing: a dialog between a manager and secretary, interactions during a break between co-workers, provocatively dressed co-worker and comments made, a female employee attracted to a male employee, male on male note writing and gestures made from one employee to another. After each role play, discussion will following regarding if the behavior was appropriate, a potential harassment, what supervisors should do and how to make the workplace a more professional environment.

Creating a comprehensive harassment policy will be discussed. An example of a policy will be reviewed and discussion will follow regarding why components of the policy are important. Tips for conducting an effective investigation will be discussed such as: promptly reporting, promptly investigate, reference Federal/State guidelines, develop documentation, interview witnesses, take interim remedial measures, avoid retaliation, handling confidential complaints, avoid prejudging and be consistent (follow your policy). Explanation will be given why each step is important and emphasis will be made referencing company policy.

Discussion will following regarding workplace forces that may have an impact on harassment such as: diversity, communication, conflicts, domestic violence, social media and company culture. Participants will gain a better understanding of the whole work environment, the impact it may have on creating a hostile workplace and what they can do to minimize the risk.

The workshop on harassment will end with a brief review and having participants do a "post workshop harassment IQ".

BONUS: The last half of the second day will be: Effective Management of Employees - What every HR Department wants supervisors to know. This session will include:

  • Proper recruitment & selection
  • Orientation & on-boarding
  • Providing meaningful feedback
  • Developing positive employee relations
  • Addressing performance issues
  • Importance of documentation
  • How to separate without risk

Why should you attend:

Harassment is very damaging to the work environment and business. It results in lost productivity, negative public relations, unnecessary litigation, excessive costs and ultimately damages employee morale. From January to September 2010, the EEOC received 99,992 charges which is the highest number of charges in the agency's 45 year history. Over this same time period the agency collect over $319 million in monetary benefits for individuals - which is the highest collected through administrative enforcement in the Commission's history (source: Another alarming statistic is that with every 1.5% increase in unemployment, there is a 21% increase in litigation.

While just "general" harassment in the workplace is not actionable, employees do have rights with regard to harassment if the harassment is based on what is called a "protected class". Protected classes include protection from harassment based on sex, age, race, handicap/disability, national origin and religion. Therefore, if an employer subjects an employee to harassment because the employee is a member of a protected class, it could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars (in some cases over $1 million).

The most typical form of harassment is what is called a hostile environment. The federal and state laws make it unlawful for an employer to subject an employee to a hostile environment based on the above mentioned classes. A typical hostile environment claim involves sexual harassment, however, it is not the only form of harassment claim that can be made. One of the common issues in a harassment lawsuit is whether or not the employers' policy is in compliance with the law and that the policy is being followed by all. Just having a written policy is not enough for the employer to protect itself from liability. To minimize liability as much as possible and create a professional work environment, employers should properly investigate all harassment claims and train managers/supervisors to know what to look for and respond to any inappropriate behavior. It is just sound business practice to create a corporate culture that will ensure all employees are treated with respect and dignity through policies, values, communication and supervisor/management training.

This workshop will train supervisors and human resources staff on what signs to look for when a hostile environment exists, how to respond to harassment claims and what should be included in your harassment policy.

Areas Covered in the Session:

  • Legislation overseeing harassment & discrimination
  • Examples of harassment
  • Creating a company harassment policy
  • Conducting an investigation
  • Workplace factors that impact harassment
  • HR management

Who will benefit:

  • HR Staff
  • Supervisors & Managers


Day One

Lecture 1: Introduction & workshop objectives
Lecture 2: History & evolution of harassment & discrimination
Lecture 3: Labor laws guiding compliance
Lecture 4: What constitutes harassment
Lecture 5: Group exercise/role playing
Lecture 6: Creating a comprehensive harassment policy
Lecture 7: Conducting an effective investigation

Day Two

Lecture 1: Review of prior day's discussion
Lecture 2: Workplace forces that impact harassment
  • Diversity
  • Communication
  • Conflict
  • Domestic violence
  • Social media
  • Company culture
Lecture 3: Post workshop "harassment IQ" test
Lecture 4: BONUS: Managing employees:
  • Recruitment
  • Orientation
  • Feedback
  • Performance
  • Documentation
  • Employee relations
  • Separation


Chicago, IL    |    March 12th & 13th, 2015$795.00   (Seminar for One Delegate)

Register now and save $200. (Early Bird)
Until January 31, Early Bird Price: $795.00    From February 01 to March 10, Regular Price: $995.00

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Toll free: +1-800-385-1627 


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