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The Weinstein Effect: Importance of Anti-Harassment and Anti-Discrimination Training

It seems as if a report of workplace sexual harassment or sexual battery is published nearly daily. While the media focuses upon notable public figures, workplace harassment can occur at any company.  In many of those reports, it seems that the environment was not conducive to reporting the alleged misconduct or to obtaining an internal remedy.  Employers would be well advised to publish anti-harassment policies, conduct anti-harassment training and to make available bona fide reporting and corrective protocols. Doing so is protective of the workforce and legally can serve as a shield to claims.  For example, in Morgan v. Triumph Aerostructures, LLC, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee gave credit to an employer’s proactive steps in addressing harassment by dismissing an employee’s claims for sex discrimination, retaliation, and hostile work environment under Title VII and the Tennessee Human Rights Act.

Summary judgment was appropriate because the employer established its entitlement to the Faragher/Ellerth affirmative defense by proving it had promulgated and enforced an anti-harassment policy.  Notably, the employer provided discrimination and harassment training, ensured that employees were aware of how to report harassment, fully investigated the complaints of the plaintiff, and engaged in remedial action thereafter. The importance of effective anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training should not be underestimated.  Employers should periodically review their policies and conduct regular training to ensure (a) that all employees know how to report harassment and (b) that supervising employees are equipped to properly investigate and intervene when a complaint has been made.

Alyssa J. Calabrese also contributed to this post. 

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2019


About this Author

Jeffrey M. Schlossberg, Employment Attorney, Jackson Lewis, Law firm

Jeffrey M. Schlossberg is a Principal in the Long Island, New York, Office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Mr. Schlossberg has devoted his entire career to the employment law field.

Mr. Schlossberg has extensive experience in handling all aspects of the employer-employee relationship. Areas of concentration include: employment discrimination prevention and litigation; workplace harassment policy development and compliance; social media and information privacy in the workplace; family and medical leave; disability matters; wage and...