Why You Should Invest in Sexual Harassment Training in California


Since the #MeToo movement started, there has been a greater awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace. We have noticed it in the news, online, and almost everywhere in all honesty. Thankfully, this has led to many companies implementing sexual harassment training for their employees.

In some places, it is even required by law. California is one such state, though of course it is a bit more complicated than just that. If you are interested in learning more about how it works in specific, you could look at resources like this one: https://www.eeoc.gov/filing-charge-discrimination.

While sexual harassment training is a step in the right direction, it is not a cure-all. I think that is unfortunately a common misconception. Now, today I will explore some of the realities of sexual harassment in the workplace and explain to you how training can help to address it.

What Constitutes Harassment?

This is the big question that we have to answer in terms of how to get started with training. After all, it is difficult to give guidance on a topic when the lines are seemingly blurred between what counts and what does not. While sexual harassment is at the center of attention in terms of media coverage, and it is what I will focus on today, there are other types as well.

Any form of repeated and unwanted behavior towards a person can constitute as harassment. So, some types are verbal, physical, or even visual. It is all too easy to dismiss some of these incidents as just playing around or as not a big deal, but we definitely do need to take it seriously. If we do not, things could easily escalate.

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Some other things that it can include (getting more specific) are unwelcome physical, verbal, or written conduct that is related to a person’s race, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or other protected characteristic. Additionally, harassment can also include unwelcome conduct that is not directed at a specific person but that has the effect of creating a hostile or offensive work environment.

Why This Matters

Work force morale is heavily entwined with and related to how safe and secure employees feel in their place of employment. That is one reason that required sexual harassment training in California is actually quite beneficial to employers as well, even if it might just seem like a hassle on the surface. Let me explain.

Harassment or other incidents of misconduct can actually lead to lower levels of productivity. Collaboration and cooperation as far as important projects go are both very important parts of making an organization function properly. However, this does require employees to feel safe around each other.

One of the first steps you can take to ensure that is the case is training everyone who works for you about what harassment is. That absolutely should include people in management – any supervisors should never be excluded from these sessions. A lot of these cases that are brought up can be traced back to people in positions of power, so that is why I emphasize this.

Types of Harassment

Part of this is also the ability to identify the different kinds, as some are more covert than other. A common example in offices is called microaggressions, which are somewhat subtle digs at a person for things that they can not control or should never need to change. There are articles out there like this one that provide some coverage on this topic.

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Be on the lookout for some of the more subtle forms such as emotional harassment or digital harassment. The later tends to fly under the rug as it can be on platforms that are not monitored too closely. I am not saying you should spy on employees, of course, but absolutely take any reports of these kinds seriously.

Anything that could even be interpreted as discriminatory falls under this umbrella too. That could include comments about race, gender, sexuality, or religion, as just a few examples. These can fall under violation of several national laws, too, so educating employees on that is critical.

In Conclusion…Training is a Form of Prevention

If you want to stop it from happening before it ever occurs, I recommend offering at least one training module on this topic a year. While your workers might grumble about it, there is no denying that this information is important stuff. Do not slack on presenting it – I think that everyone should be informed about it.

For those worried about their presentation skills, there are plenty of options for outsourcing the modules or providing them online for anyone who has a busy schedule. If you promote it and provide some incentives, your workers are more likely to listen to the information, too!


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