How can sexual harassment training in the workplace protect my company from liability in Arkansas?
The reason for this is that a federal governing body called the EEOC describes and enforces sexual harassment and discrimination laws in the workplace. Read more at (EEOC Harassment). Employers are subject to state sexual harassment laws as well. According to the EEOC sexual harassment and other forms of employment discrimination violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, (ADEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, (ADA).
In 2018, 31.5% of discrimination claims in Arkansas were related to sexual harassment. These 363 claims made up 1.5% of the total sexual harassment claims in the US that year.
The courts in Arkansas have ruled that the Act prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace (Island v. Buena Vista Resort, 352 Ark. 548 (2003)). However, because the Act does not expressly prohibit sexual harassment, the courts apply the analysis used by federal courts for harassment claims to the EEOC brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII).
In 2019, a company owning several nursing homes paid $100,000 in a settlement to employees who had been sexually harassed. The suit was filed by the EEOC It was common knowledge among the employees that if they complained about sexual harassment, they would be retaliated against and subsequently terminated. The courts found in favor of the employees and noted that there was no sexual harassment or retaliation training in place and no sexual harassment complaint process in the company policies. Read more about the story Here.
There are a number of steps the EEOC recommends that employers take to reduce their chances of liability for sexual harassment claims.
- Implementing a strong and well understood sexual harassment policy.
- Providing a robust sexual harassment training program for training employees and supervisors.
- Establishing an effective complaint and grievance process, within which the employees do not have to fear retaliation.
- An employer should act Immediately to investigate any complaint or grievance.
- The employer should take immediate steps such as disciplinary action to stop harassment.
- Employees should be encouraged to confront the harasser directly and inform them that the conduct is inappropriate as well as informing management and Human Resources
Sexual Harassment Training Tip: Prevention is the BEST tool.
By ensuring that employees understand and are well trained in workplace sexual harassment policies, employers can greatly reduce their chances of being liable for monetary damages in sexual harassment cases.
Our onsite Sexual Harassment training seminars are available in the following Arkansas cities: