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Sexual Harassment

Don’t Oversimplify Acknowledgments of Harassment Training

Signatures of attendance alone are not enough for some employers Employees’ acknowledgments that they’ve attended anti-harassment training should document more than attendance; they should also show that workers understood the training’s contents, some legal experts say. Most employers just get a signature and that’s it. Following the #MeToo movement, we recommend employers consider an acknowledgment…

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Investigating Claims of Harassment: A Step-by-Step “How To” Part 6: Closing the Investigation and Additional Steps Thereafter

This final installment of a six-part series on harassment investigations discusses how to close the investigation and steps to take after the investigation has been closed. As always, bear in mind that each harassment investigation is different and must be tailored to fit the particular circumstances. Close the Investigation Once the investigation has concluded, it…

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Investigating Claims of Harassment: A Step-by-Step “How To” Part 5: Other Sources of Evidence, Summarizing the Investigation, & Reaching a Conclusion

Before concluding a harassment investigation, the investigator should follow up with other possible sources of evidence, record and summarize the investigation, and reach a conclusion. This fifth part of a six-part series discusses these final steps in the investigation process. As always, bear in mind that each harassment investigation is different and must be tailored to fit…

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Investigating Claims of Harassment: A Step-by-Step “How To” Part 4: Note-Taking Techniques and Tips for Assessing Witness Credibility

In any investigation of a harassment complaint, the investigator must interview people and take notes. This fourth part of a six-part series addresses techniques for note-taking and tips for assessing the credibility of witnesses. As always, bear in mind that each harassment investigation is different and must be tailored to fit the particular circumstances. Helpful Witness Interview…

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Investigating Claims of Harassment: A Step-by-Step “How To” Part 3: Interviewing the Accused and Other Witnesses

You have received a complaint of harassment and interviewed the complainant. In this third part of a six-part series, we discuss interviewing the accused and other witnesses. As always, bear in mind that each harassment investigation is different and must be tailored to fit the particular circumstances. Interviewing the Accused At the beginning of the meeting, the…

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Constructing a Workplace Environment That Rejects Sexual Harassment

The political and cultural climate surrounding workplace sexual harassment is evolving faster than many companies can address or adapt to on their own. Internal and external stakeholders (management, employees, customers, clients, and business partners) have new and heightened expectations about what companies should be doing to prevent and respond to harassment—whether reported or not. Moreover,…

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Investigating and Responding to Harassment Claims – Part 1: The Complaint

What if you were the human resources manager or in-house counsel that received a complaint that Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, or any of the other number of recently accused individuals sexually harassed an employee? With the rise of sexual harassment allegations receiving increased scrutiny, retailers need to have proper procedures in place for…

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Sexual Harassment Class Investigations on the Rise with EEOC

Since September, stories of sexual harassment have dominated the headlines. In what USA Today dubbed the “Weinstein Effect,” workplaces of all types and size have been seeing employees step forward to take part in the #MeToo movement by shining light on abuses of power by companies’ leadership. The increased focus on sexual harassment has created a surge…

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An Ounce of Prevention…Polices and Procedures can Help Stop Workplace Harassment Before it Starts

As we’ve discussed numerous times before, addressing sexual harassment in the workspace is no longer optional or something that any business can afford to pay lip service to without serious financial and reputational risk. Payouts and settlements in sexual harassment lawsuits can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and, in today’s highly charged atmosphere, ruin…

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