The Supreme Court and federal agencies now look askance at employers that do not train their workforce members to avoid sexual harassment and discrimination, race, national origin, and religious bias, age and disability discrimination, and all other areas protected by federal and state laws.
1. What is the affirmative defense and how does it relate to training?
A big incentive for employers to train came from the U.S. Supreme Court and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 1998. The Supreme Court handed down two landmark rulings, Ellerth v. Burlington Industries and Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, that provided employers with an affirmative defense for escaping liability for supervisory sexual harassment.
The affirmative defense allows employers to defend against supervisory harassment, which does not result in a tangible employment action, by showing that: a) the company exercised reasonab...(register to read more)