How can sexual harassment training in the workplace protect my company from liability in Montana?
The Montana Human Rights Bureau is charged with investigating complaints regarding workplace discrimination and sexual harassment. Along with the EEOC the Montana Human Rights Bureau is responsible for enforcing laws that prohibit sexual harassment and other forms of workplace discrimination. They highly recommend that all employers create clear policy on sexual harassment and provide training to all employees and managerial staff. The Montana Human Rights Bureau states that “Effective policies and procedures will protect your employees from discrimination and may prevent liability for violations of state and federal anti-discrimination laws.” For more on Montana’s sexual harassment policies, visit Montana's Human Rights Web page.
The EEOC is the federal governing body that describes and enforces sexual harassment and discrimination laws. Read more at (EEOC Harassment). 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 the EEOC found that out of 26 workplace discrimination charges filed in Montana, 38.5% were related to sexual harassment. Training for employees and managers as well as a clear sexual harassment complaint system can help reduce the numbers of sexual harassment charges as well as employers liability in workplace discrimination lawsuits. For more statistics on sexual harassment and workplace discrimination in Montana.
In 2019, a female employee at a swimming facility was paid nearly $60,000 in a sexual harassment lawsuit settlement. She was sexually harassed on a constant basis by one of her male co-workers. When she complained to management, she was berated in retaliation. No actions were taken against the harasser. Furthermore the court found that the employer had no sexual harassment policy in place, and no training was provided to employees or supervisors on sexual harassment. Read more on the sexual harassment settlement.
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 also available in the following Montana hotels:
Fairfield Inn & Suites Billings
2026 Overland Ave.
Billings, MT, 59102
4559 N. Reserve St.
Missoula, MT, 59808