Make training for managers an essential part of your sexual harassment policy

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Management Training

It does no good to have a sexual har­assment policy if managers don’t know how to enforce it. Without regular manager training on how to respond to complaints, you might as well not have a policy.

Recent case: The EEOC sued Dave’s Supermarkets on behalf of several women who claimed that one of the grocery store’s supervisors had regularly sexually harassed them, forcing them to quit.

All the women admitted they had received a copy of Dave’s sexual har­assment policy when they were hired. Each had signed an acknowledgment indicating they had read and understood the policy.

Store managers testified they also knew about the policy.

The court looked at how Dave’s managers handled the women’s complaints. In no case did a manager who learned about the harassment know what to do. No one investigated; no one proposed any solutions. No one told the supervisor to stop.

What’s more, all the managers testified that they had received no training whatsoever on how to investigate claims or fix sexual harassment once they realized it had occurred.

That was good enough for the court to order a trial. (EEOC v. Dave’s Supermarkets, No. 1:09-CV-2119, ND OH, 2011)

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