Presented by Kara M. Maciel and Lindsay A. DiSalvo
Over the past three years, we have seen the continued momentum of the #MeToo Movement and its impacts – beyond the immediate and direct effects of the specific allegations – have taken shape. Back in 2017, the #MeToo Movement was invigorated by a slew of high-profile allegations of sexual harassment and assault and tens of thousands of people, largely women, voicing their own experiences on social media using the hashtag “Metoo.” In the wake of the prominence of the Movement and its influence on the discourse surrounding issues of harassment, the states and the federal government have taken action to tackle what they see as the underlying issues that foster harassment. And one of the main areas of focus has been preventing and addressing sexual harassment in the work environment.
Indeed, several states, such as New York and Illinois, have passed laws requiring employers to implement such things as sexual harassment prevention policies and training at their facilities – some of the laws even specifically describe what those policies and/or trainings must contain. Other states have also implemented such restrictions as bans on including sexual harassment claims in mandatory arbitration agreements. Simultaneously, we have seen an uptick in the number of sexual harassment charges filed and pursued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). Thus, it is essential for employers to understand the legal requirements and restrictions surrounding this issue to ensure compliance with federal and state law.
Participants learned about the following:
The legal standards for sexual harassment and their nuances
New state law requirements for sexual harassment prevention policies and training
General recommendations for anti-harassment policies, complaint procedures, and training
Best practices for investigating and addressing complaints of sexual harassment