Scandals Prompt New Approaches to Sexual Harassment Training


High-profile sexual harassment scandals involving the entertainment, politics and media fields are spurring businesses everywhere to take a closer look at their policies and training programs. In many cases, employers are finding that generic policies with cut-and-paste legal text and one-size-fits-all instructional videos are simply not doing enough to connect with employees and address key issues. With careers at stake – not to mention the reputations of entire companies – employers are re-examining workplace culture, training, complaint procedures and everything in between, says employment attorney Audrey Mross of Dallas’ Munck Wilson Mandala. For example, businesses are finding that live training provides a more interactive experience that resonates with workers. “Previously, many employers thought showing an off-the-shelf training video would be sufficient, but the interactivity of live training does a better job of ensuring that key concepts are fully understood.

In addition, training is moving beyond a focus purely on harassment to address problems including rudeness, poor judgment and disrespect toward co-workers. States are moving in a similar direction with a recent amendment to California law requiring harassment training to include bullying. I am a big fan of moving beyond a recitation of the applicable law to delving into actual examples to help workers begin to understand where the line is between acceptable and unacceptable behavior, says Ms. Mross, who frequently makes presentations to businesses on workplace policies and employment law. I’ve found that this is what triggers an ‘aha’ moment for many, and often individuals will speak up and share their own experiences with their peers in the training session. When attendees are hearing the message from both the trainer and their fellow workers, it really starts to resonate.

For more information or to set up an interview, contact Robert Tharp at 800-559-4534 or Robert@androvett.com.

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