Join the fight against workplace sexual harassment.

If an employee was sexually harassed at your organization, what would you do? Have your employees and managers been effectively trained? Are you sure? 

 

Consider this recent case. 

 

What happened?

As “Riley” was preparing to enter a PhD program at the University of Minnesota, she accepted an offer to work as a graduate researcher collecting field data on peregrine falcons on the Colville River in Alaska in the summer of 2011.

 

Her mentor was “Cameron,” a scientist from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska, and an expert on peregrine falcons. He was responsible for teaching Riley how to collect and sort data and how to survive in the region.

 

During two 17-day research trips, they slept in tents in the harsh conditions—with a shotgun close by in case they encountered a bear. During the first excursion, Cameron told sexually explicit jokes, asked Riley questions about her personal life, and shared stories of his previous sexual encounters with other graduate students. He bathed in the river in front of her and encouraged her to follow suit.

 

While staying in Fairbanks in between research excursions, Cameron told Riley that she was attractive and that he wanted a romantic relationship with her. He joked that they should share a tent, and he invited her to sit on his lap and kiss him. Riley repeatedly told him that she wanted only a professional relationship.

 

Riley’s academic advisor joined them for the first 7 days of the second excursion. Cameron did not tell any sexual jokes or express his interest in a romantic relationship with Riley during that time. However, his behavior resumed after the advisor left.

 

When the fall semester began, Riley was told that she would share office space with Cameron, who was working at the university for the academic year.

 

Instead of using that office, though, Riley avoided contact with Cameron by studying and doing her graduate work in coffee shops or libraries. After failing a statistics exam, a counselor told her that she might be suffering from anxiety and stress due to Cameron’s behavior.

 

In November 2011, Riley talked to her academic advisor about the situation, and he arranged for new office space. However, Riley resigned from the university in January 2012 and was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety.

 

The outcome.

Riley filed suit against the university, Cameron, and the advisor. She alleged that Cameron had sexually harassed her and created a hostile work environment in violation of her 14th Amendment rights.

 

Cameron argued that there was no physical conduct of a sexual nature and that “a reasonable public official” would not have known that such conduct was prohibited because the university did not provide him with sexual harassment training, and he was unfamiliar with the university’s sexual harassment policy. Cameron argued that he was entitled to qualified immunity, but the district court ruled in Riley’s favor.

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Fill out the form to see how we can help you stay compliant and join the fight against sexual harassment.

What can you do?

Is your organization prepared for a sexual harassment allegation? Do you know the steps you need to take if an employee comes to you with a similar claim?  What if one of your employees is among the thousands who have posted #MeToo about another employee at your company? Have your employees and managers been effectively trained?

 

If you’re not sure, TrainingToday® is here to help.

 

It’s no secret that sexual harassment is back on the public’s radar. Although it’s crucial to sexual harassment prevention that people are focusing on this issue after high-profile cases like Weinstein’s are in the spotlight, it’s a topic that employment law attorneys and human resources professionals have been battling for years off the front page of the newspaper.

 

Sexual harassment is not something you should ignore or even take lightly.

 

TrainingToday can help you get your team trained and prepared with the help of our sexual harassment prevention libraries and courses. We also have national and state-specific courses and resources that can help you even more.

 

To learn more, simply fill out the form on this page.

 

With a better understanding of sexual harassment and its harmful effects, as well as proper training and resources, we can all work together to prevent this problem in our workplaces and beyond.

What does TrainingToday offer?

 

Preventing Sexual Harassment: National

This online training library will give you everything you need to train your employees, supervisors, and managers on preventing sexual harassment in the workplace. Several training options are available for multiple-year training. Courses include:

  • Preventing Sexual Harassment: A Guide for Employees
  • Preventing Sexual Harassment: A Guide for Supervisors
  • Sexual Harassment and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) — Training
  • Social Media and Sexual Harassment
  • Stop Sexual Harassment — Employees (English and Spanish)
  • And more!

 

Sexual Harassment Prevention: State-Specific

TrainingToday also offers sexual harassment training courses that are state-specific, including California, Connecticut, and Maine.

 

Onsite Training-Sexual Harassment Prevention

Our on-site training option brings sexual harassment training experts to your office, facility, conference center, or corporate retreat for engaging and informative training. Even though online training is comprehensive, time-saving, and cost effective, sometimes nothing beats having a live trainer at your facility.