Sexual Harassment has become one of the top issues in the nation, but sexual harassment training has been available for years and has not appeared to make a significant difference. The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) recently completed a two-year sexual harassment survey focusing on the issue in academia, but its findings may apply to businesses and other organizations.
The Current Climate
One of NASEM’s primary recommendations is that organizations address the current climate regarding sexual harassment in their workplace. In certain workplaces, sexual harassment is not a problem, while in others it is endemic. Obtaining information about an enterprise’s current sexual harassment climate requires regularly surveying workers and getting their feedback. The questions are straightforward, and include whether an employee has experienced sexual harassment, the type of harassment if it did occur, and whether they witnessed such harassment in their workplace, even if they were unaffected.
Benefits of a Current Climate Survey
Solving a problem is not possible with reputable data, and that is what the current climate survey for sexual harassment provides. Rather than use a one size fits all approach to sexual harassment training, the organization can structure their training on the problems employees face. Additionally, many employees do not report sexual harassment, and a company cannot fix a problem it does not know is happening.
The Downside of a Current Climate Survey
Unfortunately, there is a downside to companies conducting a current climate survey regarding sexual harassment, and that involves potential public relations and legal issues. If it turns out that a company is experiencing a high level of sexual harassment in its workforce, a leak to the press about the information could prove catastrophic for public relations.
On the legal side, if the survey shows that workers are dealing with sexual harassment and the organization cannot eliminate the problem, legal liability ensues. By law, employers must try to prevent sexual harassment, which is why sexual harassment training became part of a company’s workforce program. If the current climate survey shows that sexual harassment is still a major problem, it is conceivable that a court will determine the company is not taking reasonable care to correct the issue, and the company is not compliant. The possible risks from a public relations and legal standpoint result in most companies not implementing a current climate survey.
Philadelphia Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates. P.C. Advocate for Victims of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
If you or a loved one has been the victim of sexual harassment, you need the services of the experienced Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Please call 215-569-1999 or contact us online for a free, confidential consultation. We are in Philadelphia, and we proudly serve clients from the surrounding areas, including Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County.