Sexual harassment claims have been on the rise not only in their numbers but in their overall costs.
Sexual harassment claims account for 30% of claims filed with the EEOC. Employers can be held liable for sexual harassment that occurs in the workplace regardless of whether it involves co-employees, employees and their supervisors, or even employees and non-employees.
Awards can be in the thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. In addition to the awards, employers can expect to incur many other costs such as lost work or opportunities, costs of investigating and litigating claims, and attorney fees which can include reimbursing successful claimants for their attorney fees.
Besides direct financial costs, sexual harassment erodes morale and poisons the work environment. It can lead to emotional and physical harm to those who are involved or who witness the wrongful behavior. This in turn further impacts everyone’s productivity.
Spending a fraction of these costs on training to prevent sexual harassment can be a good investment. In fact, employers cannot expect to defend against liability or mitigate punitive damages without establishing that they had a complaint procedure and provided sexual harassment prevention training to all employees. Training should instruct employees on what actions constitute sexual harassment and their right to a work environment that is free from this destructive behavior. Employees should be refreshed about the company’s complaint procedure and encouraged to use it.
CDT Micrographics offers effective and affordable online, instructor-led, print-based booklet, and ebook courses which can be customized to incorporate your company’s anti-harassment policy and complaint procedure:
View course lists, descriptions, outlines, and objectives.