Sexual harassment has occurred in the workplace for as long as men and women have worked together, but the #MeToo movement marks a sharp dividing line. Powerful men have lost their jobs due to sexual harassment. In the year after the #MeToo movement took hold, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported a 50 percent increase in the sexual harassment lawsuits filed against employers. Sexual harassment charges filed with the EEOC rose 14 percent. In addition, state and local governments initiated a variety of new laws for combatting sexual harassment in the workplace.
New Laws in Place
Since many anti-sexual harassment laws have taken place on the state and local level, it is imperative that employers and employees are aware of what constitutes sexual harassment. Companies are mandated to put anti-sexual harassment policies and training programs in place. In some states, the confidentiality clause in sexual harassment settlements no longer exists. For an employer, that means such settlements are public, and all employees, including future employees, can learn the circumstances, as well as business partners, shareholders, and customers. Public disclosure incentivizes employers to make sure no form of sexual harassment is tolerated and offenders are dealt with as quickly as possible. When confidentiality agreements are in place, sexual harassers may continue to behave inappropriately and not suffer consequences.
Promoting General Civility
Treating others as you wish to be treated is an ancient concept. Too many employers focus on the legal liability surrounding sexual harassment and fail to promote an atmosphere of general civility in their workplaces. A holistic approach to sexual harassment involves more than training programs and policies. Only when employees respect each other and proactively work to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace will this type of behavior become a thing of the past.
Address All Harassment
While sexual harassment receives the most attention, an employer’s anti-harassment policies and training must also include other forms of harassment. This includes age, race, disability, ethnicity, and religion. Employer policies and training should make it clear that no type of harassment is acceptable in the workplace, and reporting procedures must prove straightforward.
Delaware County Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Protect the Rights of Those Sexually Harassed in the Workplace
If you experienced sexual harassment or discrimination at work, you need the services of the experienced Delaware County sexual harassment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 215-569-1999 today. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients from the surrounding areas, including Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County.