Bruce’s Summary: I recently said, “We’ve been dealing with sexual harassment literally forever and since the 1960’s legislation has continued to grow saying it’s illegal and will continue to get more costly for employers. However, even today, we somehow still don’t get it.”
Well, another example recently surfaced with Gretchen Carlson. The one common denominator I have found is that it’s rare that someone else isn’t actually aware of the offending individual’s behavior. And this person (people) defend it when confronted many times with some kind of lame excuse like the one given Carlson – that “she learn to get along with the boys.” So it’s not always the training, the people have had the training or at that level, just signed the paperwork saying they did, wink, wink. Regardless, once signed, it is documented evidence that someone had knowledge or should have recognized they were violating company policy and putting the organization in a potential liable position.
HR Professionals, when confronted with a senior executive or board member having allegations of sexual or any other type of harassment, should recommend that internal/external counsel be involved relatively quickly in the front end process. Once this occurs it’s relatively hard to sweep something as they say, “under the rug” thereby forcing to a degree, what shouldn’t have to be forced. “None of the information contained herein should be construed as legal advice, nor are Calvin Associates consultants engaged to offer legal advice. If there is a need for legal advice, please contact and seek the advice of independent legal counsel.” www.calvin-associates.com