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Fixing the Corporate Approach to Addressing Sexual Harassment

March 4th, 2020

When the #MeToo movement first took hold, it exposed sexual harassment in the entertainment world. Since then, it has expanded to other industries, such as media and politics, and there is still plenty of work to be done. Like most problems, solving this is a matter of going to the source, as well as addressing the symptoms. Now that many well-known people have been exposed for their crimes, it is time to focus more on the systems in place that have created these abusive environments.

Fortune recently posted an article that delves deep into how corporate structures perpetuate these atmospheres and what should be done to stop them. Their posting also mentioned two studies, which found that companies lose money when employees are harassed. This included lost productivity dollars plus negative impacts on their value and employee welfare. Therefore, getting at the root of the problem will be better for employees and the companies who employ them.

Is Training Effective?

Although businesses of all sizes provide sexual harassment training, it is not always helpful. Traditional methods have become outdated, and have been known to cause employee backlash when workers are mandated to attend. Times have changed radically, yet many employers still conduct their sexual harassment training through long videos. Companies who invest in more modern and innovative ways to communicate will see their messages hitting their targets more successfully.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published a report with guidelines for effective sexual harassment training, and it recommended a creative, more individual approach. Every company is different, so they suggested tailoring presentations to audiences that will reflect common scenarios tailored to different workplaces.

Some companies agreed to offer training to reduce their legal responsibility, and do not review or enforce it. Therefore, corporate leaders, governments, and the legal community should regularly analyze its effectiveness. Investing in this also shows employees that preventing workplace sexual harassment is a real priority; when the message is clear and consistent, employees are also more likely to adjust their behaviors.


Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) are tools that companies use to protect themselves from sexual abuse claims and restrict their employees. These confidential agreements offer victims settlements and prevent them from speaking out. Often found on employment contracts, they can also be outdated by today’s standards. Employees who sign NDAs are usually not able to expose their harassers. As a result, the root problem is not addressed, the harassers continue abusing others, and the company culture remains unchanged. Some state governments are starting to act against NDAs, and bills were introduced in 16 states to limit NDAs in 2018. However, older ones are still used by many companies.

Chester County Sexual Harassment Lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Fight for Victims of Workplace Sexual Harassment and Abuse

If you experienced workplace sexual harassment, contact the Chester County sexual harassment lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. For a free consultation, call us at 215-569-1999 or complete our online form. Located in Philadelphia, we represent clients throughout South Jersey, including Haddonfield, Marlton, Moorestown, and Mount Laurel.

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