Sexual Harassment Training Issues

Posted: November 30th, 2013





Sexual Harassment Training Issues

Unwanted sexual advances, communicated desires for sexual favoritism, spoken or physical behavior of a sexual manner amount to sexual harassment (York 29). This is especially when this act plainly or utterly affects an individual’s service, unfairly interferes with a person’s job performance, or creates a hostile, offensive and intimidating work environment. Harassers may be female or male and so may victims. Quid pro quo cases involve solid employment penalties such as lack of a promotion, hiring or being fired. Lack of concrete employment consequences then places this category under unfriendly work atmosphere sexual harassment. Prevention is the most effective means for the eradication of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment training, therefore, becomes a necessity in any working setting, notwithstanding its shortcomings.

An efficient sexual harassment strategy should clearly identify both sexual aggravation and retaliation, and clarify how retaliation can acquire the form of delicate reprisals such as exclusion from a teaching lunch. The regulation should point out that if a complaint is against any employee for sexual pestering, he or she may be liable for financial damages. A policy by itself is not enough since only close to half the women state they would tell authorities of their account. The rest prefer to detach themselves from the position or pay no heed to the harassment. This would in turn mean that other modes of monitoring the organizational environment and ways of encouraging workers to use the formal reporting system are required.

Another key issue in a prevention program is to sensitize all staff on the sexual harassment issue. This is vital because at times harassers do not suppose they are sexually molesting others. They assume that they are relating normally in that setting. Diverse training strategies have been developed which include case studies, role-playing, and videos. A survey by Merit Systems Production Board revealed that sexual harassment education has sensitized national employees to sexual annoyance. Employees were more probable to view quid pro quo behavior, as well as an intimidating work environment. In states such as California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maine and Connecticut, sexual prevention training is required by law. A minimum of two hours educational training and retaliation is the obligation in California.

However, this training might put any organization at a great risk to incur heavy penalties when incriminated. Their reputation is also ruined, and serious long-term repercussions may accrue as per retention and recruitment of employees. Previously handled cases would be Del Laboratories that paid $1 million to handle sexual allegations, $2.2 million from Chevron to four women as corporate retaliation and Mitsubishi paid $34 million to hundreds of women over sexual harassment claims (York 31). Another effect would be an exaggeration by employees concerning ordinary incidents, which would land the supposed harassers in a lot of trouble. Employees can also cause a change in their immediate employers when they team up to implicate them.

Returns from court cases filed against harassers can be quite difficult to attain. Proving the harasser’s bad intention, proving emotional distress and suing a company are some of the tricky elements. The state may also prevent any tort claim as per the workers compensation law. Sexual harassment affects any employee from abroad or any employee sent to other countries. The logistics are similar, but the law applicable may be different. These few disadvantages would not be enough to place sexual harassment training as a petty issue in any organization.

Works Cited

York, Kenneth M. Applied Human Resource Management. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2012. Print.

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