The U.S. Supreme Court and federal agencies look askance at employers that don’t train employees and supervisors how to prevent, detect and report harassment. As a practical matter, such training is essentially required.
The mandate for anti-harassment training dates from 1998, when the Supreme Court handed down two landmark rulings, Faragher v. City of Boca Raton and Ellerth v. Burlington Industries. The two cases carved out an affirmative defense for employers: They won’t be liable for supervisory sexual harassment if they train everyone not to harass and how to report harassment that does occur.
The defense allows employers to defend against supervisory harassment by showing that:
- The employer exercised reasonable care to prevent and promptly correct any harassing behavior, and
- The employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of preventive or corrective opportunities.
The EEOC subsequently extended this affirmative...(register to read more)